Fragrance Memories* | How Perfume Can Stir Up Memories From Just One Sniff | My Favourite Scents I Would Love To Have Bottled Up.

Monday, 14 May 2018

It's amazing isn't it just how powerful scent can be, how just a hint of a smell or fragrance long forgotten can take us on a journey somewhere far away, or to an event in the past. For me, just a whiff of coconut screams holidays and sunscreen, with memories of being covered in the stuff as a child as I played happily in the pool; freshly mown grass in spring just reminds me of being at school and making daisy chains on the playing fields with my friends. For my Mum, the smell of freshly baked bread will always remind her of my Grandma (her Mum) baking bread in the kitchen when she was a child. One of my favourite scents is that of parma violets, used in everything from bath bombs to gin! It's not to everyone's taste, but I absolutely love it and have many happy memories of eating the sweets as a child. 

Our brains process scents and memories in this way because smells are routed through the olfactory bulb which is the region which analyses scents, this part of the brain is closely connected to the amygdala and hippocampus - regions that handle memory and emotion. When you first smell a new scent, you immediately link it to a person, an event, or a moment in time. Your brain is so powerful that it creates a link between this smell and the memory so whenever you encounter the smell again, the link is already made. 

Because of this, you may not even notice how supermarkets pump the smells of freshly baked bread through to the fronts of their stores so as you come in you're already, perhaps subconsciously, thinking about bread and how comforting it is, without even being near the bakery aisle! It's the same reason why estate agents and homeowners use the smell of coffee and freshly baked cakes to sell houses; if cleverly done, the customer is unaware of it until they're signing on the dotted line! 

I remember purchasing one of my first bottles of perfume and feeling quite grown up as I looked at the range of bottles in store. I didn't know which one to go for as back then I didn't have the collection I do today but in the end I chose YSL Cinema, and so I have strong associations with this perfume in particular. When I bought my first bottle of Chanel Mademoiselle I remember thinking I probably shouldn't have, as I was meant to be saving for Australia and I wouldn't be able to use it until I got back. Alas I still bought it and the incredibly grown-up scent always reminds me of setting off for an adventure of a lifetime in a country I had always wanted to visit. 

Nowadays you can have perfume made to your own specifications, so perhaps it could be possible to bottle your favourite scents? Some of mine would have to be: freshly mown grass, rain on a pavement, linen dried on the line by the summer breeze, the scent of leather in a tack room and daffodils in spring time. That would be perfect.

Why not read my previous perfumes post

Love, Sarah

*Sponsored post in collaboration with L'Occitane 

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