Olfactory training consists of smelling four different odors twice a day, every day. Training typically continues for at least six months and may last longer. The following regimen is used by Zara Patel, MD, director of endoscopic skull base surgery and an associate professor of otolaryngology–head and neck surgery at Stanford University Medical Center in Stanford, Calif., and her associates:
Begin with rose, eucalyptus, lemon, and clove. Patients choose one odor and smell it for approximately 15 seconds while trying to remember what it once smelled like.
The patient rests for about 10 seconds.
The patient then smells the next odor for approximately 15 seconds.
The patient again rests for about 10 seconds.
Repeat until all four odors have been sampled.
After three months, Dr. Patel switches to a new set of odors: menthol, thyme, tangerine, and jasmine, training with them twice daily.
After another three months, Dr. Patel switches to a third new set of odors: green tea, bergamot, rosemary, and gardenia, again training with them twice daily.