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Loss of smell found to be one of the best and earliest indicators of COVID-19


Did you know that sudden loss of the sense of smell is an indicator of possible health issues, including the presence of infection?  A growing body of scientific evidence – including a recent Mayo Clinic study – has found it to be a more reliable indicator of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) than temperature checks.

Watch this PBS NOVA report below to hear what the experts have to say:

What the experts are saying

Why scentcard

How Taylor is screening for loss of smell

For Taylor Corporation and thousands of other companies across North America, the definition of “workplace safety” forever changed in early 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic became a reality. The standard workplace policies regarding employee safety were suddenly rendered obsolete by a mysterious, microscopic particle that could potentially threaten the health of any employee in any company. 

In addition to now-familiar measures like social distancing and heightened sanitation procedures, Taylor began to monitor the health of its employees as another way of arresting the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. However, the daily symptom surveys and temperature checks were known to be imperfect. Since many individuals infected with the COVID-19 virus do not exhibit a fever and may not be self-aware of other symptoms, how could Taylor more effectively screen its workforce and provide a safe work environment?

The answer came from within

Having heard that a change in the sense of smell was a potential symptom of a COVID-19 infection, a Taylor production facility in Mexico began to conduct scent checks with employees using jars of easily recognized substances like vanilla and cinnamon. Not long after, a Mayo Clinic study found that 95% of patients tested for a sudden loss of smell had the COVID-19 virus. The idea of using this peculiar characteristic of the COVID-19 virus as a new type of screening tool was born. While other symptom checks may be hit or miss, the nose knows.

As one of the largest and most technologically advanced printing companies in the world, Taylor applies scented ink to paper to create its patent-pending scentcard™ and scentcard PRO olfactory tests. We use these olfactory tests with our own employees ― in addition to the daily symptom surveys and temperature checks ― as yet another tool in the fight against COVID-19. And now, this same technology is available to you. 

Remember, a sudden loss or change in the ability to smell may be the result of any number of issues including environment, age, injuries, infections, viruses or blockages of the nose. For this reason, scentcard and scentcard PRO are not COVID-19 tests and do not take the place of any other screening tool or preventative measure now being used to combat COVID-19. However, when used in harmony with these other measures, scentcard and scentcard PRO may provide a higher level of confidence that you are doing everything possible to protect the health and safety of your employees, your customers, and their respective families.

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An introduction to scentcard.

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Complete Testing Kits
Toolkit includes what you need to screen for loss of smell.
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Immediate Results
Gain meaningful insights about your employees' loss of smell, with immediate test results.
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Daily tests for only a few dollars a month per person. Patent pending and made in the U.S.A.
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Simple Toolkit
Non-invasive, 30-second process. Easy, multilingual instructions for testing and reporting.
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Hygenic, sanitary, disposable and recyclable. No biohazardous waste is produced.
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Protect your brand image.
Secure your workplace.
Using  scentcard

Early detection means protection

Loss of smell is a primary marker for many conditions, including the virus that causes COVID-19. People who contract certain viruses are often asymptomatic in the first several days, which is when they are likely to be the most contagious.

It is in these early days when most people experience a loss of smell as their very first symptom, well before other virus symptoms manifest such as fevers, high body temperatures, chills, cough, or headaches. Most who lose their sense of smell don’t know they’ve lost it until they are tested. 

Taking the body temperatures of employees before they come to work, customers before they enter a retail store, or teachers and students before they come to school is helpful, but a fever often comes well after the time the person is the most contagious and has unknowingly infected people around them. Testing for and detecting the loss of smell is one of the best ways to check for one of the earliest symptoms of certain viruses.


  • Great for vendors, visitors, or temps
  • Self-monitoring
  • Scratch and sniff scents
  • Scent answers
  • No technology
  • Self-reporting


  • Employer protection while safeguarding employees or students
  • Scratch and sniff scents
  • Web-based surveys
  • Instant result notifications
  • Daily survey reporting
Research and Testimonials

Frequently asked questions


Q. How often do I need to test my employees?
A. Employees should be tested daily. It's easy with scentcard. You can mail cards to their home, where they can test themselves before coming to work. This helps lessen the risk of ill employees turning up at your worksite.

Q. Will this test interfere with my current screening process for temperature checks?
A. No. You may use scentcard in addition to any other screening protocols you have in place. However, clinical experts are finding that loss of smell is a more reliable, early indicator of COVID than is fever.

Q. How long does the testing take?
A. It takes just moments to scratch each scent patch and check your results.

Q. How does someone pass the test?
A. A person passes the test by identifying each scent correctly. We use common scents that are easily recognizable if the user is healthy and has no sensory impairment.

Q. What constitutes a no-pass?
A. Someone fails the test when they cannot identify both scents. The next step is to try another card. If they miss both scents again, the employee should contact their healthcare provider or program administrator, per their employers' policy.

Q. Are they scents I'll recognize?
A. Yes. We use commonly identifiable scents such as vanilla, pine, bubble gum and mint.

Q. Where do I take the test?
A. You may use scentcard at your place of business or in the privacy of your own home. That's the nice thing about scentcard: It's easy to administer without involving any healthcare professionals.
Q. Can I use the card more than once?
A. Each card is designed for single use only.

Q. How am I notified of results?
A. Our scentcard version gives the answers right on the back of each card. Users of scentcard PRO report their results digitally using a smart phone app which notifies them immediately if they correctly identified the scents.

Q. Who sees the results?
A. In the case of scentcard, you see your own results immediately. Users of technology-enabled scentcard PRO will have their results reported to their employer.

Q. What happens if I fail the test?
A. It is up to each employer to decide their own policies surrounding employees that fail the scentcard test. For retail stores and restaurants that may use scentcard to screen guests, it is up to them to set their own policies.

Q. How long do the scents last?
A. The scents last up to one year if stored at normal room temperatures.

Q. How much does scentcard and scentcard PRO cost?
A. Due to our innovative production process, scentcard is the most affordable solution on the market. scentcard PRO only costs pennies more per day to activate the technology. Cards are shipped in a box of 200 strips, with five cards per strip. Contact us today for a personalized account plan quote.

Yes, I want to see scentcard in action!


I'm ready to learn how scentcard could help protect the health of my place of business by early detection of loss of smell.

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