Science of Smell: Memory

How Scent Impacts Your Moments

We’ve talked before about the connection of smell in the brain, and how it can really impact how you feel and what you think. Now focusing on memory, we want to show you how important it is to scent your surroundings positively so that you can create lasting feelings and memories that matter to you. Get ready to fill your smart home diffuser with scents that make your memories last!

We’ve talked before about the connection of smell in the brain, and how it can really impact how you feel and what you think. Now focusing on memory, we want to show you how important it is to scent your surroundings positively so that you can create lasting feelings and memories that matter to you. Get ready to fill your smart home diffuser with scents that make your memories last!

How Does it Work?

When we smell something, receptor cells bind to odor molecules that pass through the back of our noses. We then use the nearly 450 scent receptors to make sense of those odor molecules and turn them into something that we smell, like cookies baking, or the Pura Volcano scent that aerates from your smart device.

This scent information is sent to the thalamus, which serves as a sort of 'interpretation station'. The thalamus also sends smell information to the parts of our brain that integrate with taste information, along with the parts that are connected to learning and memory, which is why all of those all start to connect for us. We then tie these smells to what we are learning or doing at the time to form lasting impressions that may stick with us each time we smell that scent!

Woman smelling

What Scents Have an Effect?

Fragrance

Our in-house fragrance expert, Mara Dumski, gives us some insight into our scent memory. “Fragrance memory is very keen, and everyone has different triggers. Certain ingredients and different notes will cause a unique reaction for people who relate to them.” We can all agree on some scents that are familiar to everyone that might bring back the same memories, like the smell of certain foods or restaurants. Most of us could pick out the whiffs of Subway or In-N-Out from a mile away!

Random scents might affect people in unique ways based on what they have experienced while being around that smell, like the feeling of love for your mother when you smell her unique perfume. Building a bond with others through scent is fun and uniting, and this helps your relationships to grow stronger and more positively, so remember to take in the smells of the situation with the people you love!

Our in-house fragrance expert, Mara Dumski, gives us some insight into our scent memory. “Fragrance memory is very keen, and everyone has different triggers. Certain ingredients and different notes will cause a unique reaction for people who relate to them.” We can all agree on some scents that are familiar to everyone that might bring back the same memories, like the smell of certain foods or restaurants. Most of us could pick out the whiffs of Subway or In-N-Out from a mile away!

Random scents might affect people in unique ways based on what they have experienced while being around that smell, like the feeling of love for your mother when you smell her unique perfume. Building a bond with others through scent is fun and uniting, and this helps your relationships to grow stronger and more positively, so remember to take in the smells of the situation with the people you love!

How do we Enhance Olfactory Memory?

Sometimes we are around the same smell or setting for so long that we become nose blind to the fragrance of our surroundings, and we aren’t aware of how we take things in. We also each have a unique individual smell, and tend to be nose blind to how that comes off to other people. To kick those nose blind or unknown smells out the door, use smart home fragrance in a way to give people impactful, positive memories when they enter your home. Changing up the smells and using unique, smart scents in each room is a perfect start!

Scents are cyclical, the scent industry is constantly combining new notes and ingredients to change things up, and just one note can change the whole feeling of a fragrance. Mara says, “Everything old is new again, and everything has a way of coming back.” So remember that just a small change can bring a new take to an old favorite scent. Change things up in your scent device and try something new to create a signature scent for yourself, or build a new one to bring in a new wave of memories!

The nose and olfactory system are like muscles that should constantly be used so they can get stronger. The more you use your nose and realize what you smell, the stronger your smelling gets!

The nose and olfactory system are like muscles that should constantly be used so they can get stronger. The more you use your nose and realize what you smell, the stronger your smelling gets!

The nose and olfactory system are like muscles that should constantly be used so they can get stronger. The more you use your nose and realize what you smell, the stronger your smelling gets!

Pay attention to how you feel, what you’re thinking of, and what you’re doing while you smell things, and you can learn to enhance the memories of your life, all just by focusing on one of your strongest senses!

Pay attention to how you feel, what you’re thinking of, and what you’re doing while you smell things, and you can learn to enhance the memories of your life, all just by focusing on one of your strongest senses!

What are you smelling?

Sources: BrainFacts.org, the Harvard Gazette

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