Why do scents bring back memories? Well, it’s science. After a smell enters the nose, it travels through the cranial nerve through the olfactory bulb, which helps the brain process smells. The olfactory bulb is part of the limbic system, the emotional center of the brain. As a member of the limbic system the olfactory bulb can easily access the amygdala, which processes emotional memories. The close relationship between the olfactory bulb and the amygdala is what causes a spark of nostalgia when you smell something. Make sense? (see what I did there?)
Now that you are an expert in the science of scent, I am sure you can think of plenty of examples of how you have walked in a room and a smell instantly transports you to another place. Our sense of smell is closely linked to memory more than any of our other senses. When I smell chlorine in the air, I am suddenly transported to my childhood where I spent most of my hot Summer days in the town swimming pool. The smell of apple pie triggers memories of Sundays at my grandmother’s house. For others the sweet fragrance of a flower like honeysuckle may trigger thoughts of playing games in the playground, or the walk to school. Our Honeycomb Soap incorporates honeysuckle for its anti-inflammatory properties and it’s ability to improve uneven skin tone and dullness. You may like it because it brings you back to your childhood.
Researchers have found that taking a whiff of rose scent while learning a task and then being exposed to the same smell during sleep helps the memories to set in. If that is the case, perhaps our Radiant Rose Soap can help improve memory for students especially when they are using it for a bath or shower before bedtime.
There’s no doubt smell and memory are intertwined. It’s through memory that we learn to remember smells.
Please share your comments on how scents trigger a memory for you on our Facebook page. Hope to hear from you soon.
Sage & John