The desensitised nose. A smell experiment proves our senses get dulled when we’re feeling low.

When, thank heavens, you return to feeling normal again after being depressed, everything around you will seem to have greater clarity.

Colours will be more vivid.

Music will be more melodic.

And according to a report in New Scientist, smells will be stronger.


This could be good or bad depending on whether we’re talking about the perfume of a rose or the pong of someone’s whiffy old trainers, of course.

More specifically, the article details research undertaken at the University of Dresden, which showed that people’s sense of smell diminished when they were depressed.

Amazingly this seems to happen because the part of the brain responsible for registering smells – the olfactory bulb – actually gets smaller, which was observed using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

It’s fascinating to see the evidence building up which supports what I think we instinctively know.

When you’re depressed, you feel cut off from everything.

5 thoughts on “The desensitised nose. A smell experiment proves our senses get dulled when we’re feeling low.

  1. ive been having some mega low periods recently. Being an Aromatherapist and massage therapist my best pick me up is to book myself a massage. These days I keep using room sprays, reed diffusers, candles and even tuck a fragrant soap under my pillow. I seem to need to refresh constantly because Ime just not getting any scent unless it’s recent. My favourites are grapefruit, olive, frankinscence, sandalwood, petit grain…..I love them all but I need more and more when I me low. I even take my own blend to my massage therapist and they usually comment on how strong it is. I’ve recently observed that the fragrance which lasts and which I pick up best is that of of my organic coconut oil and a bunch of freesias.

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