Memories may be triggered by many things, sight, touch, emotions, places, people, experiences or even scent. This happens because neurological processes in our brains record and understand every scenario and store the information about how to react in the future if a similar situation were to arise.
Since this is a blog about scents, we will naturally be speaking about how different scents can trigger the neurological process mentioned above resulting in what we call scent memory.
Have you ever walked down the street, and someone walks by you wearing a particular scent and you are instantly transported to a moment in time past? It also goes beyond that! Have you ever been hit in the face with a phantom smell? Oh, only me? Ok! Or maybe you don't know what a phantom smell is. I will enlighten you. A phantom smell is when a person smell something that is not there. In my case it does not happen very often but when it does, its usually a smell that is associated with my mom and my childhood and in that instance, I could swear she was still here with me.
So, scent memory is a memory that is specifically triggered by a scent or an aroma. It is very interesting to note that we all have our very own unique scent memory. In essence, our scent memories are exclusive to us and from our experiences.
A study published in Progress in Neurobiology explores the power of scent in triggering memories, suggesting the ability comes from the connection between the olfactory system and the hippocampus in our brains. The olfactory system are the bodily structures that serve the sense of smell. This system consists of the nose and the nasal cavities, which in their upper parts support the olfactory mucous membrane for the perception of smell and in their lower parts act as respiratory passages. The hippocampus on the other hand is a complex brain structure embedded deep into the temporal lobe. It has a major role in learning and memory.
All together these major players are key to the ability for us to recall things into memory by something as simple as a passing scent.
Scent memories doesn't just stop there, but it can even come from things that we can’t even remember. Those memories that may be so hidden in our subconscious that they are only brought to the surface by smells. That is one of the reasons why sometimes we smell something, and it smells familiar, but we can’t remember why we even remember it. Strange right? One of the reasons maybe because, that scent memory was developed early on in our lives, when we were just babies.
Did you know that our sense of smell develops in the womb and as soon as we are born, we are making scent memories.Wow! Every time we breath in scent molecules are mapped into our brains and stored in our subconscious, ready to be recalled at any moment.
So, while you burn your favorite Oh D'Luxe Candle, just think that whatever else is happening in that very moment, may be pulled back to your memory whenever you smell that same scent in the near or distant future. So wether you are currently smelling eucalyptus from our breath candle or rose from our salt and rose candle enjoy the moment and make it count in the present as it will count in the future as a beautiful scent memory.
be the light,