How do I refresh my nasal palette and do coffee beans actually work?
You will never find coffee beans inside a fragrance house, which might tell you something. Their ubiquitous presence across beauty departments has become a marketing phenomenon and something of a consumerist rite of passage.
In truth, coffee beans may work in the sense that you are bombarding your nose with an even stronger aroma, in the hope of resetting it, or rather creating a hard break between sampling of consecutive perfumes.
A better method is actually to smell an unscented patch of your own skin. In a sense our own olfactory neutral ground is ourselves. But don’t reach for your hand or wrist, because they are probably already punctuated with lingering aromas from soaps and other materials you have come into contact with. We recommend bringing your nose into the bend of your elbow for a soft nuzzle to reset your olfaction. This technique never caught on at beauty counters, probably because of how silly you may look to other bystanders. Smelling coffee beans is much more refined a practice.
Ultimately the many facets of olfaction are mysterious and quite personal, so its important you try these techniques to identify what works best for you.
When all else fails, giving your nose a break via some fresh air, a walk, or drinking some water will also work wonders. It’s a less sexy answer for our always-on generation, but there it is anyway. Sorry there is no magic pill (yet).