A Smell Memory

January 31, 2012

Have you ever got a whiff of a particular smell, and you where suddenly flooded with all types of memories of an experience or place you had been? Smell can be one of the biggest memory triggers in the brain.

This past weekend I had a conversation with a very experienced outdoors women who was telling me a story of how she creates “Smell Memories” with her grand-kids. She will take them on an outing, and then at a certain moment, gather them together and ask them to concentrate on what they smell. It can be anything. And each child seems to get a different focus on what it is they are smelling. Not always the same smells for each child. Later……she talks with the children about their experiences together and what they had smelled.

I realized as she was telling me this wonderful story, just how important smell was to me. Especially in my outdoor experiences. I thought about how I would see a sunset or tree-line and it would remind me of a place I had been. But when it came to a smell memory, my mind was flooded with all types of memories of something I had done or a place I had been. The memory was so much stronger.

Taste works very much the same way. Although it is harder to taste everything around you. πŸ™‚ I thought about that one too, and figured that was why I put so many things into my mouth while out on the trail. Not recommended behaviour.

So remember this the next time you are watching that sunset, or coming over that bluff to a spectacular Pine forest on the horizon. Stop for a moment, get that picture in your head, and them connect it to what it is you smell at that specific moment. Then log it with your other “Smell Memories”.


  1. Particularly the whiff of excessive hygiene cologne products that brings to the smell memories,that it floods the senses that you can just about taste.

  2. πŸ™‚ Hilarious! Not really, when it actually is the smell memory you get. Tasting trhat at the same time, makes it something to never forget.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: