The strangest thing happened to me today; I was stood in the queue for coffee when a smell infiltrated my nasal passage. Suddenly I had a flashback memory of working during the holidays with my father, some 25 years ago, in the kitchens of the factory showing me the best knife sharpener that he was the chef at. The smell was only there for the briefest of moments and just after the memory I was aware of the smell and remember it from my dads work. Then it was gone.smells, association, memories
4 Replies to “Smells…”
That happens to me all the time – I think your sense of smell brings back more memories that what you think. When I wear different perfume – I always remember which holiday I was on when I bought it for the first time.
The real issue for me was; what was the smell… if I knew what it was could I bottle it and bring it out for nostalgia reasons?
I can only presume it was either kitchen cleaning products or machinery, as the link between the two places is coffee shop and canteen.
I’s a fact known to psychologists that the sense of smell is more connected to emotions than other senses. The way our brains are wired up makes the paths from the nose go to the talamus, which is the “control center” for our emotional system. The net result is that smells activate emotions and memories, as you experienced. I can assure it happens to me too 🙂
I’m always getting flashbacks linked to smells. I once even got transported back to my childhood by the smell of a shampoo: it was so similar to the smell of plums ripening in the sun in France…. Ahhhhh.
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