Understanding Nose Fatigue and Smell Blindness

This content is for those who encounter nose fatigue with Riddle Original or Sphinx. We want to offer you some education as to why you are experiencing this to understand what is happening scientifically.  

  • Customer A smelled it on someone else and loved it; then, they didn't smell it as strongly or at all when they purchased a bottle and put it on.

  • Customer B tried it on at a store and loved the scent; they purchased it then found that they didn't smell it as strongly or at all when they wore it next.  

  • Customer C is a loyal Riddle Original user and has gone through several bottles to find that eventually, they don't smell it anymore.  

First, please know that Riddle Original and Sphinx are our top-selling scents. They are distilled in a controlled environment that renders each batch to be the same potency as the first one ever made. Our batches are always tested for color, scent, and molecular structure before being used in our products.  

Then why can't these customers smell it?     

Whether you are customer A, B, or C, the reason you're experiencing this is found by investigating how our sense of smell works and how fragrances are made.     

There are four points to carry away about how our sense of smell works:  

  • Our sense of smell is designed to aid in our survival, not for cosmetic purposes. When your nose picks up a new scent, it is highly sensitive to it. It takes in all of the molecular information and decides if it is safe or unsafe. If your limbic system determines that the scent is harmless, it will begin to ignore it to continue with its job of hunting out new potential dangers.  

  • Everyone perceives smells and diffuses them differently. This has to do with our different personal pheromones/body odor given our diet, mood, hormones, and lifestyle. Some Riddle Original and Sphinx wearers diffuse it and can be smelled from far away, while others diffuse it like an aura closer around their body and trail it as they walk.  

  • When you smell a scent on someone, you smell the scent's base mixed with their natural scent. This is why you can smell the same perfume on two different people, and after about an hour of wearing it, it smells like a slightly or dramatically different scent altogether. Because the base note becomes a part of the wearer and they are used to their natural scent, it is easy for them to begin not to smell it and think it "wore off" quickly.  

  • Your scent cells are renewed every 28 days and therefore have a "new nose".    

Making a typical fragrance:    

The way a perfume or cologne is created is by layering top, middle and base notes. What differentiates these is the weight of the molecule. The top is the lightest and evaporates quickly, which is the scent you receive right out of the bottle. The middle takes around 10-20 minutes to evaporate, and the base comes out about 30-45 minutes later and lasts the longest.  

Riddle Original and Sphinx are made of only base notes. This is not common of many scents and is what makes it unique and popular yet requires some explanation at times.  

Riddle Original and Sphinx become a part of you and enhances your natural scent and pheromones. You are not as sensitive to it because it is you and because you don't have the top and middle note, you think it is scentless.  

How often are you aware of your scent?     

Consider the person that walks past you and assaults your nose with pungent cologne/perfume. I assure you that they don't know how strong it is. Their scent receptors begin to ignore the scent they wear, so they layer it on, believing that it's gone.      

Riddle Original and Sphinx are still there. You may not be sensitive enough to pick up their subtle nature, but they are still making you smell great and will come back to you in waves. This subtle factor is why most people love Riddle Original and Sphinx so much; it isn't overpowering but more of a fresh and clean presence. They trust that it is there and are often reminded when people stop them to ask what they are wearing.      

It is a lot to take in, but our sense of smell is a very complex system. Riddle Original and Sphinx are always there and keeping you fresh and smelling great...we promise :)      

I can guarantee that your Original and Sphinx oil is an accurate representation of our product. We've had plenty of returning customers run into this issue at first and continue to purchase it.    

Unfortunately, someone will experience nose fatigue or musk anosmia and then started asking people around them if they smell anything. People will start agreeing that they don't smell anything because of how the question is presented to them or because they themselves are musk anosmic. Also, because the scent is already very light and requires body heat to evaporate, it is easy to say that it is scentless. Then we end up with an issue of people in this situation agreeing there is no scent. Meanwhile, we make large batches and ship hundreds of bottles a day from the same batch; if there were a problem with the batch, we would know very quickly across the board. The issue is not our product's potential lack of consistency ("bad batch"); it's simply that while our batches are super consistent, our noses are not.    

Our Original and Sphinx scents are intimate personal scents. They require some patience; I recommend continuing to wear your fragrance alone and see how it develops on you. Unlike most scents, you're not going to get instant gratification, but I'm sure it's going to grow on you. 


Other Information:

Olfactory Fatigue

Anosmia - Article

Basenotes - Forum 

Fragrantica - Forum

The Real Smell of Musk - Article