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Fragrance & Memories

Fragrance & Memories

Susie Sierra

Did you know that fragrance and memory have a powerful connection? In an instant we can be transported back years as certain smells prompt us to relive past events and often in full technicolour.  

Scents are processed by the olfactory bulb, a structure in the frontal cortex of the brain and communicate with the limbic system which includes the amygdala and hippocampus, our memory and emotional centres. The processing is swift!

In fact, there is no other sense that compares with the power of smell. We have at least 1,000 different types of smell receptors but only four types of light sensors and about four types of receptors for touch.

We can also use fragrance as a way to shift from a negative state into a positive frame of mind. We do this automatically each time we smell something that reminds us of a happy past experience - first love, a special family gathering or personal achievement event. 

Furthermore, our sense of smell activates all of our other senses as the happy  memories arise. Our vision, sense of touch and taste and imagination are all triggered through the engagement of our olfactory gland.

If you need to lift your spirits, take a walk in nature and smell the flowers and scents on the breeze. We all know that flowers have healing properties. Their fragrances remind us of the beauty in life. In this way, scent can open the heart and heal bruised emotions. 

Alternatively, you might visit a second hand book store to breathe in all those musty old smells. There’s nothing more comforting than the smell of old papers and bindings. 

Take the time to nourish yourself through the power of scent.

~ Susie Sierra

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