The glaring reason why you often can't smell your own perfume—and how to fix it

This is *exactly* why you can't smell your own perfume throughout the day...

a woman wearing a brown high-neck sweater and pulling it up over her nose
(Image credit: Getty)

Ever spritzed your best perfume only to find you that can't seem to smell it on your skin after a while, despite still getting compliments on your scent? Well according to the experts, there's actually a reason why you can't smell your own perfume...

For many of us, smelling good 24/7 is the ultimate goal, hence why we seek out the best long-lasting perfumes—like Niall Horan's cologne for instance. However, sometimes even when we douse ourselves in our signature scents and follow all the hacks to make our fragrances last longer—like spraying on wet skin and not rubbing perfume on our wrists—they become almost undetectable to us over time.

So why can't we smell our own perfumes on our skin, exactly? Here's what the experts have to say about this phenomenon...

Why can't you smell perfume on yourself?

So, why can't we catch a whiff of our favorite oud perfumes and vanilla scents throughout the day, despite people still telling us that we smell good? Well, it turns out it's an instinct thing...

Vicken Arslanian, Re-Founder of perfume brand Commodity, sheds light on the subject, explaining: "This is called going “nose blind,” a phenomenon in which your nose stops detecting a scent.

"It occurs when the nose figures out that a scent isn’t a threat or poisonous and stops perceiving it. Aside from fragrance, it commonly happens in environments we’re in for extended periods of time, so nose blindness can also happen with household odors and pets," he explains, adding, "you smell them at first—when you walk in the door, but after a while, the smell is 'gone'."

Holly Hutchinson, founder of Memoize London seconds this, reiterating that "once we become used to a smell and our body decides it isn't threatening, it blocks it, making our nose available to new scents and anything potentially harmful."

Tips to ensure your perfume lasts (even if you can't smell it anymore)

So what can we do to stave off this perfume 'nose blindness' and ensure we detect our favorite perfume notes for longer?

Arslanian says to be 'cognizant' of where you're spraying your favorite perfumes. While it's recommended to spray directly onto your pulse points, (like your wrists and neck) if you find you lose the scent of your perfume quickly, Arslanian recommends, "avoiding the front of the neck," before explaining: "This is a prime location for nose blindness. Other people will still be able to smell your fragrance, but you might assume it faded." 

Instead, try applying your favorite floral perfumes on areas that aren't directly under your nose, like the top of your ear, or behind your knees.

Naomi Jamieson
Lifestyle News Writer

Naomi is a Lifestyle News Writer with the Women's Lifestyle team, where she covers everything from entertainment to fashion and beauty, as well as TikTok trends for Woman&Home, after previously writing for My Imperfect Life and GoodTo. Interestingly though, Naomi actually has a background in design, having studied illustration at Plymouth University but lept into the media world in 2020, after always having a passion for writing and earned her Gold Standard diploma in Journalism with the NCTJ.

Before working for Future Publishing’s Lifestyle News team, she worked in the Ad production team. Here she wrote and designed adverts on all sorts of things, which then went into print magazines across all genres. Now, when she isn’t writing articles on celebs, fashion trends, or the newest shows on Netflix, you can find her drinking copious cups of coffee, drawing and probably online shopping.