Quite often at interactive smelling exhibitions you will notice a small pile of coffee beans in an open container, usually with an explanatory note suggesting that you ‘refresh’ your nose between smelling exhibits by sniffing the coffee beans.
This practice defies logic and common sense! Firstly, roasted coffee is as strong or stronger than the odourants / perfumes in the exhibition, so how could smelling another powerful scent refresh your nose?
Secondly, the odour of roasted coffee is estimated to consist of approximately 10,000 different chemicals, whereas most perfumes would only consist of hundreds. So how could smelling thousands of chemicals refresh your nose after smelling only hundreds?
Maybe the idea was to simply smell something completely different to perfume to give your odour receptors a bit of variation. Twenty years ago this argument may have had some validity, however since the incorporation of gourmand notes in perfumery (including coffee), this argument is totally invalid.
It is important that concentrated, high quality perfumes such as LeRêve’s are presented and evaluated in a neutral smelling environment in order to minimise the odour fatigue. You also don’t want a strong draft, but you do need air movement to prevent a build up of perfume in the room.
John Lambeth, Consulting Perfumer to LeRêve