Have you lost your sense of smell?


In France, more than 2 million people have been diagnosed with Covid-19 and more than 46% have developed problems with their sense of smell [1]. The start-up AIMEE de MARS has launched an olfactory re-education programme, 1,2,3 Sentez, with easy to recognise everyday odours, to help people recover their sense of smell. The laboratory’s programme is based on its expertise in the creation of fragrances 100% natural and made in France. It is also based on the research work that recommends olfactory training, the only natural and lasting solution that is currently recognised to fight against anosmia. The loss of the fifth sense impacts daily quality of life: food, danger, pleasure… A handicap that Covid-19 has amplified and highlighted.

46% of people with Covid-19 do not recover their sense of smell.

In France, more than 2 million people have been diagnosed with Covid-19 and more than 46% of them have developed olfactory problems [2]. Some of them have lost all or a part of their sense of smell. This does not include anosmia (loss of the sense of smell) resulting from trauma or medical accidents.

Based on these findings, Valérie Demars launched 1,2,3 Sentez, the first olfactory re-education programme for victims of Covid-19 and anosmia:

« When a friend asked me to produce a kit of natural essences for her so that she could train herself to recover her sense of smell, I was troubled to find that there was a large number of people suffering from anosmia, following infection with Covid-19. I spoke with the association anosmie.org and I studied the results of Professor Hummel doctor/researcher and Hirac Gurden, olfactory researcher at the CNRS. They are all unanimous: restoring all or part of the sense of smell requires olfactory training. So I created a specific olfactory re-education programme: 1,2,3 SENTEZ. If you train every day for 12 weeks, with diligence and will, you will really increase your chances of restoring your sense of smell. »

Valérie Demars
Perfumer-creator of the AIMEE DE MARS Laboratory

The first olfactory re-education programme post Covid-19

The friend who gave her the idea is called Edith and she contracted Covid-19 in November 2020: « After a week of re-education with the kit I recovered some sense of smell. After 6 weeks training I had fully recovered my sense of smell. »

Not everyone fully recovers their sense of smell in 6 weeks. The Aimée de Mars Laboratory designed a re-education programme of a minimum of 12 weeks duration, based on exercises using essential oils to stimulate neurons and olfactory memory:

Programme 1-SENTIR: 1 scent per day for 6 days, to be repeated daily for a minimum of 6 weeks. Everyday smells that are easy to recognise:

– mint, lemon, coffee, rose, eucalyptus and orange blossom. You only need to smell the smelling key, close your eyes and inhale. Match the scent with its corresponding number. Then note the result on the tracking form.

Programme 2-APPROFONDIR: The second kit of 6 other scents, which are more subtle, enables you to go further. Programme N° 2 scents: coconut, anise, lavender, vanilla, almond, clove. 1 scent per day for 6 days, to be repeated daily for a minimum of 6 weeks, according to the same protocol as Programme 1-SENTIR

anosmie traitement

This olfactory re-education has the advantage of helping people recover their sense of smell more fully and without side effects: Faced with anosmia, only corticosteroids are prescribed, with possible side effects such as water retention, high blood pressure and behavioural problems).

Anosmia is a daily handicap

Anosmia affects 5% of the french population and 15% suffer from a diminished sense of smell (hyposmia) [3]. These medical conditions, highlighted by Covid-19, suffer from a lack of studies. « Research on the sense of smell is the poor parent of sensory research » regrets Dr Arnaud Aubert of the Department of Psychology and Neurosciences at the university of Tours [2]. The sense which is the the most unfairly neglected « The entire loss of the sense of smell is rated only as a 2% handicap » on the official scale [3]. Yet the loss of the fifth sense handicaps daily quality of life:

  • The pleasure of cooking and eating: The sense of smell functions with taste, which is also perturbed in cases of anosmia because the flavours are perceived for the most part by retro-olfaction.
  • The smells that alert us of danger: gas, smoke, hygiene…
  • The intense emotions that are created by the smell of the body of a loved one, a sea breeze, a forest…

So many pleasures and emotions which no longer travel to the brain, sometimes leading to eating disorders, loss of desire, depression or withdrawal into oneself.

“But, when nothing remains from an ancient past, after the death of beings, after the destruction of things, alone, more frail but more lively, more immaterial, more persistent, more faithful, the smell and the flavour still remain a long time, like souls, to remember, to wait, to hope over the ruin of everything else, to carry without wavering, on their almost impalpable droplet, the immense edifice of memory.”

Marcel Proust
Remembrance of things past. In Search of Lost Time: The Way by Swann’s, 1913.

The start-up AIMEE de MARS does not stop innovating

To create this kit, which is made in France with essences that are 100% natural, Valérie consulted medical professionals and established a partnership with Anosmie.org, the first French association dedicated to anosmia.

She leaned on her in-house expertise acquired from 5 years in the creation of fragrances, «l’aromaparfumerie®»: With her team of 5 perople, Valérie Demars has developped a range of natural perfumes based on essential oils and Saint Genulphe spring water.

« Inspired by my grandmother Aimée and her enchanting garden, since I was 12 years old I have always wanted to work in the perfume business. »

Valérie Demars
Founder of the AIMEE de MARS Laboratory

aimee de sens - radio nostalgie

Discover the history of the olfactory re-education kit 1,2,3 SENTEZ by Valérie Demars on the French radio channel Nostalgie