You’ve probably heard of mindfulness. And when you walk in the forest, let’s say or eat a strawberry or kiss your loved one, you should be present and focus on all kinds of sensations you experience at that very moment. Modern human beings experience constant sensory overload, especially visual one, so sometimes it is really difficult to stop and focus on one sense. But that is a really great thing to do, for your mind, mood and training various skills. Sense of taste and smell are usually the most neglected one. Due to living in polluted cities full of smog and allergens our noses are clogged and not so sensitive. Same goes for our taste buds overstimulated with artificial flavourings, excessive sugar and salt. And it is really a shame because smelling and tasting our food for real helps us understand what nutrients our body needs, how amazing the natural sources of food are, how eating a piece of fruit can be an incredibly enjoyable sensory experience.
Try a little exercise – in the morning before eating and drinking anything else, enjoy a piece of fruit, eating it for really long, and really focus on taste and smell and how you perceive it.
You can also try (and this is fun to play with kids) to blind guess spices or essential oils by its fragrance. Or smell a perfume, note down the notes you feel and check online if you guessed it correctly.
Another amazing olfactory training is enjoying some new place actively engaging your sense of smell – forest or farmers market, or new city, you can try this everywhere. When you explore some new environment, close your eyes for a moment and let the smells guide you. They may not be always pleasurable, but if you do this in nature it will be mostly. Let’s say you are in this beautiful chateau park – you smell some roses, you walk further and feel tingly fragrant spruce, then sniff some herbs and freshly cut hay, you follow to the little lake and feel the smell of swampy water….keep exploring.
Training your nose will also help you cook better. 80% of the food we perceive is actually the smell of it. With good olfactory sense, you will combine ingredients better, will improve combining species, will be able to taste delicate notes of sophisticated dishes as well as fresh fruits and vegetables. You will simply enjoy your food more. Of course, this also requires some care about your nose – if it gets dry – keep it moisturised with some sea salt spray and clean it regularly with salty water and a neti pot (honestly, I haven’t learned how to do it but there are many video tutorials out there), clean dust regularly, especially washing your sheets and pillows.
Take care of your beautiful nose and sniff the summer – it is all around! Maybe just avoid sniffing sweaty people in the public transport hehe….