Scent and memory are inextricably linked. When you smell fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies, do you recall grandma’s kitchen? Maybe the scent of fresh cut grass reminds you of playing sports with friends. Perhaps the smell of the ocean takes you back to your favorite vacation spot. The sense of smell is one of the most subtle, yet potent senses and has powerful effects on our memories. Studies have shown that scent can not only help us recall memories but can also help us create new ones.

Researchers have identified several ways in which scent and memory are intertwined. For instance, scent has been found to be a powerful trigger for emotions and memories. This means that when we smell a certain scent, it can bring back memories associated with that scent. This is why certain smells can evoke strong emotions, such as happiness, nostalgia, or sadness.

The science of smell begins with the olfactory bulb, the part of the brain which sends information to other areas of the body for further processing. Scents take a direct route to the limbic system, which includes the amygdala and hippocampus, both areas of the brain which are related to emotion and memory.

Have you ever wondered why, when you’re congested from a cold all of the food you eat tastes bland? Smell plays a key role in the sense of taste. When you chew, the food molecules travel back to your nasal epithelium, meaning that all of what you consider flavor is actually due to smell. You can try testing this by pinching your nose while taking a bite of chocolate—instead of tasting the depth of flavor of the chocolate, all you’ll experience is the sweetness.

The sense of smell is so profound and primal, that studies have shown that the only fully developed sense a fetus has in the womb is that of smell. The sense of smell is the most developed sense until the age of 10 years, when sight becomes primary. Until that time, “smell and emotion are stored as one memory,” states Dawn Goldworm, co-founder of an olfaction branding company. She says that scents experienced in these early years are, “the basis for smells you like and hate for the rest of your life.”

scent and memory are intertwined

Are you interested in optimizing your olfactory sense to enhance new memories, boost productivity, and create positive associations throughout your daily life? Our mood scents are designed to do just that. Spritz Focus Mood Scent while studying, then again before going into a big test to boost memory, concentration, and recall abilities. Mist your pillow with Sleep Mood Scent to promote restful sleep, helping to build the association of your bedroom for sleep and relaxation to reduce insomnia. Use Joy Mood Scent as your daily perfume, to amplify feelings of positivity, motivation, and happiness throughout your day. Spray Relax Mood Scent during meditation and journaling, to prepare your body and mind for introspection. Love Mood Scent is the perfect aroma to open your heart before going out on a special date.

At Olfaction Experiences, we invite you to craft your own olfactory journey, letting our scents guide you to inviting more joy, relaxation, focus, sleep, and love into your life.