Self-test sense of smell

Would you like to test your sense of smell? Or do you want to start smell training? Then use this simple self-assessment test to determine what your sense of smell is at the moment. This way, you can rerun the sense of smell self-test at a later date to see what the effect of the smell training has been.

General questions smell and taste

  • I can taste the difference between salt and sugar: Yes / no
  • I can taste vinegar: Yes / no

If you answered yes to these questions, your sense of taste is probably healthy. If you answered no, you should ask your doctor for more information about taste disorders, also known as dysgeusia.

  • My food tastes different than it should and smells that are pleasant to others are unpleasant to me. Yes / no

If you answered yes to this question, you may have parosmia.

  • I sometimes smell things that other people cannot smell. People tell me no smell is present: Yes / no

If you answered yes to this question, you may have phantosmia.

  • I can smell some sort of vague smells, but I cannot make sense of them: Yes / no

If you answered yes, you have a very minimal sense of smell.

Performing the self test

First, it is helpful to do the self-test with the help of someone. So find a suitable assistant 🙂

For this test you will need a blindfold and 5 different products with a strong odor. Below is an example of products that you can use for the self-test. Of course you are also allowed to add your own products, these are just suggestions.

  • Vanilla
  • Coffee
  • A piece of lemon zest
  • A sprig of rosemary / thyme / mint / sage or other herbs
  • Toothpaste
  • Dish washing liquid / detergent
  • Shoe polish
  • Mustard
  • Ketchup etc.

Put on the blindfold and ask your helper to hold each item close to your nostrils. You should not be able to see or touch the items.

Take your time and don’t take off the blindfold until you’re done. For each item, indicate which of the following statements apply:

  • I have no idea what scent this is
  • I can smell something but it is very vague and not strong
  • I smell something, but I cannot place / define it
  • It doesn’t smell like it should and it’s very unpleasant
  • I can recognize the smell

Ask your helper to write down the answers and any other comments about each smell. Re-run the self-assessment in a few months after you complete the smell training and use the same products again to test your sense of smell and see if you notice any changes.

Have your sense of smell and taste tested

This self-test is purely a means for you to get an idea of your sense of smell. Are you concerned about a sense of smell and taste? Then contact your doctor for further advice.

Source for this self assessment: