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August 19 2016

Bust the Myth: Coffee Beans



National Science Week has us curious of whether smelling coffee beans truly 'resets' your sense of smell.  We've all seen it before, a cup of coffee beans at the fragrance counter used to help our relieve sniffing fatigue.  We've heard rumours questioning whether coffee beans are all they are said to be, so today we are going 'Mythbusters' style to get to the bottom of it. 

'Olfactory Habituation' is your ability to take in any initially strong and consistent smells and then adjust to it by taking it in as part of your normal background.  Here's an easy example of this: you put on your daily perfume but throughout the day you can barely smell it let alone even remember that it is on until someone says "oooo, nice perfume!".  This is because it is a new smell to them but your nose has adjusted and made it part of it's surroundings.  

So when sniffing candles or perfumes your nose will begin to adjust to these smells so having a completely different smells does clear your nose - but are coffee beans the best for the job?  According to Dr. Grosofsky's research coffee beans, lemon slice and plain air all work equally as well. Others go on to say raw salmon, jet fuel and basically any strong opposing smell will also do fine. So despite the unfortunate truth that there is no magical component in coffee beans that make them work better, they still do the trick and lets be honest coffee beans look and smell amazing and that is why they are used. 


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