Tuesday, April 12, 2011

That smell...it reminds me of something

Do you ever smell something and it automatically triggers a memory or a place?  Does it change your mood or take you back somewhere you hadn't thought about in ages?  Our sense of smell is linked to the brain's limbic system which is an area of the brain closely associated with memory and feeling...in simple terms, our sense of smell can trigger a strong emotional response very quickly.

I had this experience just last night.  Yesterday was the first pretty toasty day here in DC and when I walked upstairs to my bedroom my room smelled a bit musty.  My mind immediately thought, it smells like summer, because that smell was associated with my room being warm and stuffy like in the summer, a conditioned response....can you tell I was a psychology major?  Anyway, that got me excited for what's to come.

Kind of a random post but I have a very strong sense of smell so always notice when a smell elicits a memory or a place.  This past weekend as I walked into my grandfather's house I smelled that same distinct smell that I always do in his house.  Or when I use herbal essences shampoo the smell always reminds me of bathing in the river at camp because that's the only shampoo we used to be able to use because it was biodegradable.

It's pretty great when you smell something that you're not expecting and it reminds you of something from long ago, when it happens you just have to smile.  What smells remind you of another time or place?  Have you had that sense recently where you suddenly smell something and it elicits a memory?

Don't forget to stop and smell the flowers, it's spring!

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