When it’s time to ‘feel’ sweet memories


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According to research conducted by the University of Kent, the smells we smell outdoors evoke pleasant memories and a sense of well-being.

There is no doubt that smells tend to evoke strong emotions in people. Smells, in general, have memories of yesteryear. Souvenirs from your home country. Memories of your childhood. Memories of your university days and memories of long pleasant summers.

Memories can be pleasant and unpleasant. Certain smells can trigger memories of being sick in the hospital. Memories that you hate, or that you love, or that you fear, or that inspire confidence. Scents can be both revitalizing and relaxing.

Smells are a multi-billion dollar business and perfumers around the world are producing one scent after another. Perfumes, essential oils and spices are key ingredients in our lives and perfumery professionals know this very well.

We use the right fragrance for the right occasion. We use just the right blend of essential oils to help relieve whatever is hurting us. According to scientists, sometimes just inhaling a particular smell can lift our spirits. I guess it’s about reawakening some memories from our past. Experts might suggest it’s all about playing with our olfactory nerves.

When I was a child in primary school in England, I remember the smell of school lunch cooking. I remember the smell of the gym and the locker room, and I remember the smell of playdough in the classrooms. At university, I particularly remember the smell of chemicals in the chemistry building. One particular smell that has stuck with me is that of aniline, a compound that formed the basis of my final year chemistry project.

At the time, I spent most of my senior year in the lab. The smell was so incredibly intense that it lingered on my clothes and in my nose. I smelled it at lunch in the canteen, which was very distracting, and on my clothes on my way home despite being in a lab coat all day. I also remember the smell of acetone, another chemical we used to dry our devices. Now, every time I smell nail polish remover, the key component of which is often acetone, I’m drawn back to my end-of-year project. Of course, the smell of college wasn’t just chemical.

I remember a year when my late father gave me Halston perfume. I used it a lot the first year, then I kept the bottle after I finished it. Years later, every time I sniffed the buzzard, I was taken back to my freshman year of college. In fact, even after the smell of the bottle has dissipated over time, years later, the smell of this perfume remains in my memory to this day and in my head, I can still smell it, remind myself remembering how I felt back then. Halston’s association with my first year of college hasn’t faded over time.

Smells are so powerful that they not only induce memories, but they can instantly tell you where you are.

Hospitals have a distinct smell that stays with you, if you’ve ever been hospitalized for a while. Yes, surroundings are the key giveaway, but if you close your eyes, you’ll know where you are just by smell. Hospital odors will always be associated with you, or someone you care about, being sick or dying in hospital.

But if you smell fish, you’re either in a fish market or by the sea. Compared to a hospital, I’m sure we would all rather be in a fish market surrounded by the smell of fish.

Fried fish and chips or burgers tell you that you are in or near a fast food restaurant or food court inside a mall. Some people, of course, don’t mind eating the burger or the fries, but the smell in an enclosed space is really quite off-putting, especially if you’re not the one eating them.

The same goes for barbecues and grills. In hot countries, especially in the evening, the streets can fill with fried, broiled or broiled meat as the smell rises from restaurant exhaust fans. So let’s think about the smells that promote pleasant thoughts and pleasant memories.

I like the aroma of a cafe with freshly ground coffee and freshly baked cinnamon rolls. It reminds me of sitting in a peaceful place watching the world go by.

I love the aroma inside bakeries with freshly baked cakes and pastries. You know you are in an even at the door.

I love the smell of a freshly mowed lawn, wood burning outside, the smell that lingers after a downpour, and the smell of jasmine in the air.

It just goes to show that whatever your favorite scent is, your nose knows it.


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