The Nose Knows
It turns out that your sense of smell is the most powerful of all your five senses. In fact, the deep limbic center—the part of your brain that controls your emotions— is connected to your olfactory (I can never remember that word L ) system, which means that different scents can affect your mood or evoke certain memories and emotions.
This is based on “associative learning.” Associative learning is the process of items or events linking to a person’s individual past experiences. Certain smells may trigger certain feelings and emotions for different people. Smell is linked to memories and the smells of something familiar can take us right back to somewhere, someone, some place, or some time, like the smell of the ocean always reminds me of summer holidays. I love the smell of coffee – it wakes me up even before I’ve had a sip.
Smell is also important as it can affect our sense of taste. Researchers say 80 percent of the flavors we taste come from what we smell, which is why foods can become flavorless when you have a blocked nose. Taste buds on our tongues can only identify four qualities being sweet, sour, bitter and salt and the remaining ‘tastes’ are actually distinguished by smell..
Which scents trigger memories for you?
For me the smell of Patchouli reminds me of my early teens in the late 70’s – there wasn’t a shop in Adelaide that didn’t smell of burning incense –
and that’s why our That 70’s Soap is scented with a Patchouli blend.