Monday, June 27, 2011

Smelly Memories

A smell can bring on a flood of memories, a smell can even influence your mood. There's scientific words why this happens but basically its because the sniffer part of your brain is super close to the memory part of your brain (how's that for scientific explanation). "Our nose is also called our "emotional brain" as it can call up memories and powerful responses almost instantaneously. When you first smell a new scent, you link it to a person, an event, a thing, or even a moment. Your brain forges a link between a smell and a memory-associating the smell of chlorine with summer at the pool or lilies with a funeral. When you encounter the smell again, the link is already there, ready to elicit a memory or mood. Chlorine might call up a specific pool-related memory or simply make you feel content. Lilies might agitate you without knowing why" (Sarah Dowdy for Discovery Health). This is why one person may love the smell of rain and another may hate the smell of rain.

My poor hubby sat by a man for three hours during a play this weekend where he basically sat in my chair smelling my hair, chewing gum, and holding his program up to his nose in attempts to mask what was coming from next to him as the poor gentleman reeked of an adult group home he used to work at. And though this was an unpleasant experience for him I started thinking about smells I distinctly connect to a person or a memory. Here are some I came up with:

Fresh Cut Grass: Reminds me of early morning softball games when the grass had just been manicured and watered, your fingers still hurt when the ball hit the bat because it was still cold, and you knew you had a long day ahead of you. Record: 7 games in a day. Hanai Mori Perfume: Reminds me of me roomie in college. I have it now and everytime I use it I think of her.

Fresh Cut Wood: Reminds me of camping with our family friends sitting around the campfire at night, roasting marshmellows, and laughing!

Cinnamon Gum and Suncreen: Reminds me of my dad. He will always smell of these two things to me.

Sweet Acacia Tree: Reminds me of walking to school on my very 1st day of school in Arizona, February 6, 1995. I was in fifth grade.

Coconut Anything: Reminds me of my other college roommate. She would put coconut lotion on sometimes instead of showering haha and always had coconut smell in her car.

Vanilla and Apple: Reminds me of our first house together (where we still live). When we were looking for houses we walked into "our" house and I immediately loved the smell and fresh feel of it. I actually think the smell sold me and every once and awhile I get a whiff of it and it reminds me of that first time walking through. (I still buy vanilla apple freshners or candles to preserve the smell).

Downey: Reminds me of my mom. Not only does she usually smell like Downey but it reminds me of how my clothes smelled when I lived at home and what my room always smelled like as it was close to the laundry room.

What are some smells you have associated to memories?! Happy Tuesday, take time to smell the roses or your loved ones =)!

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