Why Can No One Smell My Aftershave? (We Have the Answer!)

why can no one smell my aftershave

Aftershave is a nice touch-up to a good hygiene routine, but when other people don’t seem to notice the effort we put into smelling nice, it can be more of a frustrating experience. Here’s why people might not be able to smell your aftershave or perfume.

The most common reason why no one can smell your aftershave is olfactory fatigue, a condition where the nose becomes too accustomed to a smell and inhibits your ability to detect it in order to save you some energy.

As it turns out, there’s lots of different reasons why no one can smell your aftershave, but it’s also possible that your brain is interfering with your ability to perceive your own aftershave or perfume. The rest of this article will discuss why no one can smell your aftershave.

Why Can I Not Smell My Aftershave?

Not being able to smell your aftershave is frustrating because it seems ridiculous not to be able to notice something that’s right there under your nose, but this issue is actually pretty common for many people.

Olfactory Fatigue

The main reason why you might not be able to smell your aftershave is due to olfactory fatigue. This occurs when the nose becomes extremely familiar with a smell and starts to disregard it to save the brain some energy.

As a result, your olfactory neurons that would be analyzing and creating the sensation of smell aren’t firing, so the scent isn’t noticeable.

Of course, you’re still going to smell it if you spray a heavy concentration on yourself, but you’ll realize that the more you use one product, the less you’ll notice it over time.

Amount and Quality

Some other factors that influence how well you’ll be able to recognize your aftershave scent include the amount of aftershave that you apply and the quality of the product you’re using.

More aftershave means more chances for those evaporating molecules to enter your nose and arouse your olfactory neurons, creating a distinct smell.

The quality of an aftershave also plays into how aromatic it is as well as how long it will last. Better aftershaves typically have more recognizable scents and don’t wear out as quickly.

Why Can’t Other People Smell My Cologne?

If you’ve done the smell test on yourself and not been able to pick up the scent of your cologne, then it’s possible that other people can’t smell it either; however, a lot of the times, there’s nothing to be concerned about when it comes to how you smell as long as you apply cologne once or twice a day.

People Just Aren’t Commenting on It

It’s quite possible that people can indeed smell your cologne, but they just aren’t commenting on it. It’s not something that the average person would bring up on a whim, so don’t expect acquaintances to mention it.

They’ve Developed Olfactory Fatigue, Too

If your close friends don’t notice your scent either, then it’s quite possible that they’ve gotten used to it as well.

Cologne is something about you that they’re likely to experience quite often, so if you’re frequently spending time with them, then chances are high that their nose will become familiar with the smell and disregard it as well.

 It’s why when you wear a fancier cologne that’s different from your usual, it’s a lot more noticeable to both you and those around you.

Quality and Application

As with aftershave, the quality of a cologne plays a big part in how recognizable the smell is, although olfactory fatigue can certainly set in on fancier products, too. Even so, applying a higher-quality cologne more liberally twice a day will ensure that your cologne is more distinct.

Time and B.O.

Over time, the scent molecules from the cologne evaporate and aren’t dense enough in concentration for the human nose to notice. Similarly, the body’s natural odor can override the cologne’s scent so that it becomes more prevalent than the cologne.

That’s why we have to apply cologne once or twice a day to stay smelling fresh and why we shower to mask those natural odors.

Why Can’t I Smell Perfume on Me?

The reason you can’t smell your own perfume is similar to why you can’t smell your particular house smell: olfactory fatigue.

Regardless of how strong the scent of the perfume is, your nose will acclimate to it and olfactory fatigue or habituation will set in, reducing your ability to smell the perfume.

How Do I Make My Aftershave Smell Stronger?

It’s important to note that when olfactory fatigue sets in, your aftershave or perfume isn’t losing its smell—you’ve just lost your ability to detect it the same way.

Don’t overdo it with the aftershave, perfume, or cologne since about 30% of the U.S. population has a sensitivity to perfume that can be triggered just by walking in your vicinity if you apply it too liberally.

With that being said, applying an unscented lotion to your face gives the aftershave some moisture to cling to, making it last longer. Heavier, muskier scents also last longer than lighter ones, so consider changing out your aftershave brand if you want something that will last longer.  

Store your aftershave in a cool, dry place so that moisture and sunlight don’t dilute the mixture and make it less potent. A bathroom mirror or other covered location is best to maintain the strength of the aftershave mixture.

Of course, the simplest solution to having a stronger aftershave smell is to apply more of it to make it more noticeable to other people.


Smelling good is something we think about often. After all, our scent is, to some degree, a part of our identity, and not being able to smell our own aftershave, perfume, or cologne is a frustrating experience.

In most cases, however, you can rest assured that your aftershave is still just as noticeable to those around you. You just can’t smell it as well due to olfactory fatigue.

Related articles

A website made to help everyone with personal care from how-to guides, and helpful pieces of advices to product recommendations.