Olfactory training

The ENT doctor has recommended olfactory training for you.


The ENT doctor has recommended olfactory training for you. This leaflet contains more information about the olfactory training and how to carry it out. Olfactory training is useful in case of loss of smell. Research shows that olfactory training can mainly have an effect on patients with loss of smell due to an upper respiratory tract infection, on loss of smell after a wound to the head or on loss of smell due to an unknown cause.

Brain and training

The brain is a complicated organ. Part of the olfactory and taste disorders are caused by damage in the brain. Damage to the brain doesn’t have to be forever. The brain is able to adapt or recover after damage. This can happen by itself, but this can also be stimulated by training.

Olfactory training

Because of the brain’s ability to recover, we recommend olfactory training in patients where we expect a positive effect. Whether or not you have an advantage in the olfactory training, we assess after extensive research. There is no guarantee in advance about the final result you will achieve with the training. It is important to maintain the olfactory training for at least 24 weeks (6 months). To perform the olfactory training, you need reukoliën containing the following scents: rose lemon (citronella) or lime, eucalyptus and cloves.

Purchase of the products for the olfactory training

You can purchase these fragrances in the following ways:
the reukoliën are for sale at most pharmacies
Search the internet for the “fragrance oils”

  • Rose, lemon (citronella) or lime, eucalyptus and cloves

– Via the Netherlands there are the following possibilities

  • through the following website there are official olfactory pens for this training for sale:
  • www.smelltest.eu/product/geur-kwartet-geurpennen-voor-trainingvan-reukvermogen/
  • www.knowinkel.nl/reuktraining.html

Performing the olfactory training

For the training you will need the following oils or markers.

  • rose
  • lemon (citronella) or lime
  • eucalyptus
  • cloves

Perform the olfactory training as follows:

  • Take 1 of the markers or a bottle of oil
  • Take a good look before you smell which scent you are using
  • Keep this about 3 inches under your nose. It is important that the marker or oil does not touch your nose
  • Relax and take a calm and deep breath through your nose. If you breathe in too quickly, the smell will not come in properly
  • Repeat this 4 times; you have inhaled the scent a total of 5 times
  • Take 1 minute rest before moving on to the next scent
  • Repeat the above steps for all odors.

You can choose the order of smells yourself.

Repetition of the training

Repeat the 7 steps preferably 2 times a day, for example in the morning and in the evening. It is important that you maintain the training for at least 24 weeks. Try to keep up the training as regularly as possible. If you skip a day, continue the training as soon as possible. Try to keep this to a minimum.

Track progress

To help you with the training, it is good to keep track of your progress. The advice is to keep a brief record of how things are going every week. How much of each scent do you smell individually> nothing, a little or good. Does it smell like what you expect, or do you smell another smell? And if necessary, you can add a comment. It makes sense for both you and the ENT doctor if you keep track of this. The ENT doctor can use this information to discuss the olfactory training with you
After 24 weeks, there is an outpatient consultation with the ENT doctor to discuss your progress.

Follow-up training

If you continue with the olfactory training, you will do so with a new set of scents. These fragrances are: mint, jasmine, thyme and mandarin. Even now it is important that you keep this up for 24 weeks. After these 24 weeks you will have contact with your ENT doctor again.


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