You’ve probably seen those commercials where people have gone “nose blind” to odors in their home such as garbage, kitty litter, or cigarette smoke, but how do you know if you have become nose blind to your own odor?
Have you ever walked into someone’s house and immediately noticed a weird smell? You might have wondered if the homeowner can smell it too. But nope, they probably don’t. Nose blindness is a real thing according to psychologists and it’s very common.
Also called olfactory adaptation, nose blindness occurs when your nose detects an odor, determines it’s not a threat, and then shuts down the receptor for that odor. So it makes sense that smells that tend to linger often get forgotten about. So how do you make yourself more aware of your interior odors?
Stay outside for a while.
One of the best ways to tell if your home smells is to leave it for good. Of time, like even several days or a week. Close up all the windows and doors and then as soon as you open the door from being gone, taken a deep breath through your nose to see if something smells a little off. If it’s a pet odor and you take your pet with you, the smell probably has left with you so you won’t be able to notice it.
A good way to determine if there are new odors in the house is to get your blood flowing. Run up and down the stairs, jump up and down, or take a few quick laps around the block and take in a deep breath when you get back to the house.
This might seem awkward but it’s probably the most effective. Ask a trusted friend if your house smells. We all have someone who can be brutally honest with them so ask their honest opinion of what your house smells like.
Simply worrying about whether your house smells or not could get your nose working to help you detect foul odors. Fear seems to interfere with our sense of shutting off familiar scent receptors so stressing out about it may be the key to actually smelling it.