I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have smelled the scent of sandlewood in the air and searched for my Grandmother, you see she favors Shalimar perfume and that is one of the main scents in that perfume. I have a similar experience when I catch a whiff of English Leather. Our priest while I was growing up (and more like an “uncle” to me because he was so close to our family) sported that cologne and when I encounter it I am 6 years old again and at Mass. Scientists have long known about the powerful association of smell to memories, and according to How Stuff Works; ”A smell can bring on a flood of memories, influence people’s moods and even affect their work performance. Because the olfactory bulb is part of the brain’s limbic system, an area so closely associated with memory and feeling it’s sometimes called the “emotional brain,” smell can call up memories and powerful responses almost instantaneously.”
The only problem with this phenomenon is that my husband knows my weakest one (and is very good at triggering it multiple times a year)…give me the scent of fresh sawdust anytime and I am immediately transported to my Grandfather’s workshop and the countless hours I spent out there with my tiny hand-broom and dustpan sweeping up sawdust. I loved the workshop and loved, even more, that I was allowed to explore – within reason – and hang out. Floods of memories have been coming back to me this week as my husband has been building an oak desk for me in order to be more organized with homeschooling, blogging, planning, etc. (at least that’s the idea!). I am grateful for the memories, and grateful to my husband for seeing a need and making the solution with his own hands…Grandpa would’ve been very proud of you!
What smells trigger happy memories for you?
Do you notice an association of food smells and what you eat? (Do I sense a future post on this one?)
Please share your scent related memories below, I’d love to read them!