Do coffee beans neutralize scent?
When I worked at Sephora, there were always small glasses filled with coffee beans placed at the fragrances wall. The idea is that you could take a sniff of those coffee beans in order to neutralize your nose in case it got saturated.
Is it really true that coffee beans have the quality to neutralize scent? The answer is very simple: no. A nose can’t be saturated, your nose is always ‘on’. Scent can not be neutralized, just like you are not able to neutralize taste.
So why is it that coffee beans are used so frequently? Scent is working in the way as taste in this respect. When you are eating sweet candies, and drinking chocolate milk afterward, the chocolate milk will not taste as sweet anymore. By eating something that is salty or sour in between, your taste buds will be able to recognize the sweet taste again. This works the same for scent. In order to prevent olfactory fatigue, it is best to smell something different. This could be coffee beans or your own skin, it doesn’t matter. Therefore the coffee beans are in place to undo the effects of olfactory fatigue, not to neutralize the odor.