Communal perfumes so you can smell EXACTLY as you want to on any given day, musical alarms reminding the house to take a moment to care for themselves (whether that be eating, drinking, sleeping, etc), water fights on a summer’s day, playing catch with water balloons, green grass beneath bare feet, broad-brimmed hats, half-hidden smiles…
Linking Our Sense Of Smell To Our Memories & Emotions.
For today's blog, I wanted to talk about how our sense of smell is so closely linked to our memories, emotions and feelings, the way we all have favourite smells and how they can affect us. To find out more, we have to understand exactly how we smell (I promise to keep this bit brief and not too sciency!).
When we smell something for the first time, we inhale the scent through our nostrils, into the nasal cavity where it then goes straight to the area of our brain where we store our memories and emotions, the Limbic System, Here is where the scent causes us to have an emotional reaction, such as like/dislike, a memory of a place/person perhaps, before our brain either recognises it or stores it as a new smell. Without even recognising a scent, our brain starts to react to it. It could transport us to a particular place, person or time of our life, just from one whiff! Our sense of smell is unique compared to our other senses when it comes to having an emotional reaction before even knowing what the scent is. Our sense of sight, for example, relies on our brain identifying what something is before reacting to it. If we see a spider run across the floor, our brain needs to identify that what we have seen is a spider, before our emotions kick in eg. fear or shock.
So why is one person’s favourite smell, another person’s worst? Well, it comes down to how our brains store and memorise a new scent. Generally, if we are experiencing a good emotion when we smell something (happy, excited, content etc) we tend to link it to a positive feeling when memorising it, so our difference of likes/dislikes really comes down to the experience we link them with. For example, one person may find the smell of cow poo disgusting, but for the person who maybe spent family holidays on a farm, surrounded by cows, the smell can be a pleasant one, as it reminds them of their childhood summers. So there really is no such thing as a good or a bad smell!
In fact, a lot of smells that we have stored in our brains are linked to our childhood, as this is when we were learning the greatest amount of new scents. For a lot of people, the smell of roses are associated with the smell of their Nans, as they may have had rose based perfumes/soaps or maybe baskets of pot puri around the house, Most people love the smell of cut grass as it subconsciously reminds us of carefree days playing in the garden or park as children. We all probably have memories of some awful medicine we may have been given at one point, the smell, getting linked to a negative emotion such as feeling poorly or simply having to take something we didn’t want to!
We also remember smells by associating them with people Have you ever picked up a jacket and known who it belongs to simply by smelling it? Or put on a loved one’s jumper while they are away to make them feel closer? Felt comforted by the smell of your mums favourite perfume when she is giving you a hug?
I’d love to hear some of your favourite or worst smells! For me, the smell of warm, chocolate cake being cooked and wafting through the house is heavenly, and yes, I do appreciate the smell of cow poo as it reminds me of growing up in the countryside!
With each blog, I like to review both a new fragrance that I have recently discovered and a classic fragrance that I have rediscovered.
The beautiful weather this week has inspired me to go on a hunt for a brand new, summer scent, suitable for the amazing heat we are experiencing and I have fallen in love with the new Elie Saab creation, Le Parfum Resort Collection edt. A sparkling fruity floral fragrance inspired by the summer collections of Elie Saab, it has notes of pomegranate and red mandarin essence from Italy, with a bouquet of Jasmine and orange blossom. These give the scent a luminous, tropical freshness but it is the trail of Indonesian Patchouli which makes it linger so beautifully on the skin, instead of disappearing quickly, like many summer scents, perfect for long, summer days (while they last!).
Now that I have a new summer perfume sorted for the day, I am so happy to put on my all time favourite summer evening smell, Estee Lauder Sensuous edp. A rich sensuous core of Molten Woods and Amber, combined with luminous florals, Pepper, Mandarin Orange Pulp and Honey, it evokes warm evenings, tanned skin (even if mine is out of a bottle!) and makes me feel confident and elegant. It also lasts on my skin really well due to a base note of Sandalwood.
What are your favourite summer perfumes? Do you, like me, have a favourite that comes out every summer or do you like to change each year? As always, please do share and comment, I’d love to hear of some of your favourite perfumes or maybe you have an idea for a future post?
My love soft as a rose petal, warm as spring, fragile and delicate as my heart could not withstand the winds of summer, love Skin, no promises, all of its present intense deep as the abyss of your absence moon, discreet and quiet as the shared secret with the silent language of the eyes
Love ephemeral as the summer breeze, perfumed garden; devoured sip of your lips
Veronica swallowed her vitamins and poked at the wilted peas
with her fork. “No wonder we’re having so many pills shoved down our throats.
There’s nothing nutritional in these meals.”
She had been so petite before, no more than five feet tall
and probably under a hundred pounds. Now she was visibly along in her pregnancy
and exhausted. Part lack of makeup and part being trapped as a piece of flesh
that scientists poked at for the last several months had drained her, and