Losing smell and taste are disabling symptoms of the coronavirus, particularly for professionals in sectors where these senses are essential.

To help its oenology students infected by Covid-19, the Institution des Sciences de la Vigne et du Vin (ISVV), in Gironde, offers olfactory rehabilitation kits, based on essential oils. 


Anosmia and ageusia - the loss of taste and smell - are now well identified as symptoms of Covid-19 ... and can sometimes take several weeks to subside.

However, for jobs involving the nose and taste buds, this time is precious.

What should you do, for example, when you fall ill in the middle of wine studies?

At the Institute of Vine and Wine Sciences (ISVV) of the University of Bordeaux, in Gironde, the teaching team helps its students.

An odor parasitized by ... toast

At the end of September, the Covid thus deprived Amélie of taste and smell.

Very gradually, this 22-year-old student, in first year, recovers this essential sense.

But he remains disturbed.

"If we take the example of a red wine, a normal person could smell woody odors, fresh or cooked fruit", explains the young woman.

"For me, these odors are currently masked by interfering odors, like that of toast. They are not very good smells."


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Like her, five students in the training have tested positive for Covid-19 since the start of the epidemic.

So the ISVV has planned a reorganization of the training for the affected students and a program of re-education of the smell.

A specially developed olfactory relearning, which notably uses a kit based on essential oils.

A daily scent exercise to relearn smells

"We have developed small pens that contain different fragrances: from the family of flowers, fruits, spices, and aromatic herbs", explains Laurence Geny-Denis, deputy director of the Gironde establishment, responsible for training.

"Every day, they have to do a scent exercise and answer different questions."


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To complete this rehabilitation, the Institute has put online free mental olfactory imagery exercises - the ability to imagine smells without the odor source.

An accompanying booklet, in association with the University of Bordeaux, makes it possible to note the imagined smells and to note the difficulty of the exercise.