Smells are a powerful trigger that can evoke memories long forgotten. While memories may indeed never decay they become less quickly recalled the longer between ‘visits’. We often say ‘remember when’ or ‘do you remember that day at …’ Thoughtful memories.
Yet how often are memories triggered by smells; memories that may long be forgotten. We wonder at the brain’s capacity to delve into its vault of memories and instantaneously produce precisely the correct memory associated with a person, place or event. And reveal that memory from decades ago – a memory triggered by that smell. I love the insightful quote that speaks of our nose being able to see. I know exactly what he means.
My most vivid memory from childhood is that of opening my mother’s wardrobe to step inside and sit with my head amongst her dresses. As I sat enveloped in her fragrance I could see her face and hear her voice. When I see a bottle of Estee Lauder Youth Dew or get a whiff of it as someone passes me in the street, I am taken back to that fourteen year old girl again.
Do you have memories that have been triggered by smells?