Why do you stop smelling fragrances after a while e.g. room fresheners after you’ve been in the same room


For example you open a new air freshener and you smell it and it lasts for a few days but does your nose ‘get used’ to the fragrance and you stop smelling it?

In: 22

Sense of smell is based od chemical reactions with a particke in air. So longer one of detectable particles are in air less and less reagents there is to detect and we run out of it after some time

Although there is something to be said about the amount of chemicals present in the air, and thsnkuffly the other commenters did. This is however, also a biology question.

What you’re describing is called olfactory fatigue, also known as nose blindness. It is a phenomenon, that prolonged exposure to specific smells causes a lack of its perception. When you apply perfume, you smell it for a few minutes, but after some time, people around you can smell it and hopefully complement you, but you can’t smell it anymore. The same goes with unpleasant odors.

Noseblindness comes from a negative feedback loop that basically prevents further sensation of the smell. This is basically a built-in limiter that works in a complicted way to prevent further sending of electrical impulses to the olfactory cortex.

If you have further wuestions, please ask.

The olfactory receptors we have are phasic in nature, which means that the neurons give response ONLY when there is a change in the signal. So once there is a new smell, you smell it, but since it doesn’t change anymore the neurons won’t activate. The moment you leave the room to experience new smells, the neurons activate again.

Noses aren’t great at picking up static smell but are great at detecting changes in smell. Like when you go on vacation for awhile, you’ll notice a smell about your house that youre accustomed to. People who smell like body oder or cigarettes constantly don’t know how bad they smell to clean people or non smokers.

Our brains tend to tune out nerve signals they receive continously. Otherwise you wouldn’t get anything done, because the feeling of wearing socks, a slightly itchy scalp, the taste in your mouth, the tiniest background noises and a thousand other small things you could technically notice would all fight for your attention and drive you out of your mind.