When the aroma of a freshly baked cake reminds you of your childhood birthday parties, the smell of a homemade soup reminds you of your grandmother, or a certain perfume transports you to a certain moment, it is not by chance! It's because of your olfactory memory.
The olfactory memory is completely personal, unique and non-transferable and makes you relive moments in just a few seconds. We are going to tell you a little more about this wonder.
How olfactory memory works
Although in our day to day we do not take it very much into account and we prioritize other senses such as sight or hearing, our life would not be the same without the powerful sense of smell. And it is directly linked to memory, so it has a great connection with emotions and with our state of mind.
You are probably wondering how smell and memory are connected. Well, through a brain process as complex as it is interesting.
In the nostrils there are smell receptors, known as olfactory epithelia, which are responsible for capturing olfactory stimuli and sending a signal to the olfactory bulb; in turn, in charge of processing these stimuli and connecting them with different parts of the brain, especially the limbic system.
The limbic system
The limbic system is a part of the brain that processes emotional information and helps consolidate memories since it has structures specifically dedicated to it. Among them we highlight:
- The amygdala, as it is the organ responsible for associating aroma with emotions.
- And the hippocampus, which relates aromas to memories.
This magnificent combo creates the pertinent connections so that the olfactory memory works, and thus, when we perceive a certain smell, we move to the place or moment in which we smell it for the first time.
As you can see, the human being is an extraordinary machine, since although we do not have a sense of smell as developed as that of many animals, we do have the ability to relate these olfactory stimuli to our memory, thus evoking vivid memories.
Smell and memory
The olfactory memory determines the perception we have about people and places, since the emotional effects that smells transmit to us are what determine our reaction.
People begin to incorporate memories into the olfactory memory very very early, so much so that we begin to do so when we are in our mother's womb! This makes babies recognize their mother's scent from the first moment.
Over the years, we refine our olfactory memory, and it ends up acquiring so much power that it can be responsible for completely changing our mood. In recent years the great power of smell has been more than demonstrated, which is why techniques such as aromatherapy have emerged that delve into this exciting world.
But the olfactory memory is not only used to evoke pleasant memories, but it is tremendously useful to alarm us before a smell that unravels a dangerous situation, such as the smell of burning or the smell of putrefaction.
The fact of the matter is that the olfactory memory belongs fully to the realm of the subconscious, so we are sorry to communicate to you that, no matter how hard we try, we cannot eliminate the connection of certain smells to moments or people. A bummer, because we already know that more than one would like not to have to evoke his ex every time he smells her perfume ...
Perfumes and olfactory memory
Speaking of perfumes, these have a great power of evocation, since they are tremendously striking smells for our smell and end up being the ones that we identify and relate the most. For this reason, when a person is assiduous to apply a certain perfume, he is identified by those around him by that aroma. Thus, even if that perfume is used by a different person, for our olfactory memory, that specific fragrance belongs to him and will lead us to remember it as his own aroma.
As you can see, thanks to the olfactory memory, perfumes become our hallmark, what characterizes us, so we should not choose one lightly.
How? Don't you have a perfume that identifies you yet? Well don't wait any longer and take a look at the more than 550 fragrances that make up our catalogue! You like more fruity perfumes, the perfumes with notes of cinnamon or the ones that smell like Cherry; sure in DIVAIN we have one that you fall in love with and that you want to make your identity stamp. And if not, you can always return it!