How to test your sense of smell

Is there anything you can do at home to test to see if you’re suffering a loss of smell? The answer is yes, by using the “jellybean test.”

Steven Munger, director of the Center for Smell and Taste at the University of Florida, said, “You take a jellybean in one hand, and with the other hand you hold your nose tightly so you’re not getting any air flow. You put the jellybean in your mouth and chew it…If you get the savory plus the sweetness of the jellybean you’ll know you have functional taste.”

He added, “Then, while still chewing, suddenly release your nose. If you have a sense of smell you’ll suddenly get all the odors and you’ll say ‘Oh! that’s a lemon jellybean.’ It’s really a very dramatic, quick, ‘Wow’ type of response.”

Munger explained, “If you can go from sweet and sour to the full flavor and know what the flavor is, then your sense of smell is probably in pretty good shape.”

The scientific name for this process is retro nasal olfaction.

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