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Understanding Nose Fatigue and Smell Blindness

 “We have created this content for those who encounter nose fatigue or smell blindness with Riddle “Original” (applies to "Sphinx" as well). It is not a common problem but does happen and we would like to offer you some education as to why so you can understand what is happening scientifically.  


  • Customer A smelled it on someone else and loved it then when they put it on, they didn't smell it as strongly or at all.  
  • Customer B smelled it 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 user and has gone through several bottles to find that eventually they don't smell it anymore or received a bottle from a “bad batch”.  


First, please know that Riddle fragrances are distilled in a controlled and consistent 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 any of 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 was 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 decides that the scent is harmless then it will begin to ignore it in order to continue with its job of hunting out new potential dangers.  
  • Everyone perceives smells differently and also has a different personal scent given their diet, mood, hormones, and lifestyle. We also all heat up and diffuse our scents differently. Some Riddle 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 are smelling the base of that scent mixed with their personal scent. This is why when you smell the same perfume on two different people 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 own scent, it is easy for them to begin to not smell it and think it “wore off” easily.  
  • Your scent cells are renewed every 28 days and therefore have a "new nose".  


How a fragrance is made:  

The way a typical perfume/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 around 30-45 minutes later and lasts the longest.  

Riddle “Original” is 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” becomes a part of you and enhances your own smell/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 do you know what you smell like?  

Consider the person that walks past you and assaults your nose with a pungent fragrance. 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” is still there. You may not be sensitive to it enough to pick up its subtle nature but it is still making you smell great and will come back to you in waves. This subtle factor is why most people love Riddle “Original” 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 scent is a very complex system. Riddle “Original” is always there and keeping you fresh and smelling great...we promise :)  

I completely understand your frustration, to use a product and to find what appears to be “no scent”. We have to address this topic on our end as well, as our “Original” oil is a very unique product and requires a little education to truly understand it.  

Nose fatigue and smell blindness is not a common concept, which is why we have the article above written to share further information about base notes, pheromones, the way our sense of smell works, and the science behind it all.  

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

The issue is not our products potential lack of consistency (“bad batch”), it’s simply the fact that while our batches are super consistent, our noses are not.  

Our Original scent is a really intimate personal scent. It requires some patience; I recommend continuing to wear it alone and seeing 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: