Thursday, October 6, 2011

Bringing About Memories


Have you ever been somewhere and smelled something or saw something that reminded you of something completely different? For instance: I ate a lifesaver the other day. A simple sugary treat that I got at work. The instant I put it in my mouth I thought of Christmastime. When I think of Christmas I never think of Lifesavers, so what was the connection?



This strange connection got me to thinking of other things that remind me of different places, events, or seasons. For instance, Phantom of the Opera music always reminds me of my best friend from high school, Lacy Duncan. It reminds me of the "hike" we did from my house to her house. I think we managed to sing the entire soundtrack on our trek and to this day the music always brings back that memory.


Cucumber melon hand soap always reminds me of Trisha Fullerton. The downstairs bathroom in her moms house always smelled like cucumber melon and so even when I'm in a strangers home I remember their townhouse on Lakeshore. Now this isn't the only smell that brings back memories. Nutmeg reminds me of Christmas, pumpkin spice reminds me of Halloween, hot laundry soap reminds me of Houston (the washaterias). So many smells bring back memories for me.

So why does my mind work like this? Is everyone the same? I'm sure the smell of hot laundry soap would not bring back memories of Houston to someone who has not been there and experienced tracting on a hot and humid summer day, but does everyone have these random memory connections?

From Howstuffworks.com I read this, "A smell can bring on a flood of memories, influence people's moods and even affect their work performance. Because the olfactory bulb is part of the brain's limbic system, an area so closely associated with memory and feeling it's sometimes called the "emotional brain," smell can call up memories and powerful responses almost instantaneously." Clearly I'm not the only one who has emotional ties to different smells, and I'm sure that many other parts of the brain work the same way.

So what brings memories to your mind? Do you have any strange memory connections? I'm intrigued to see what other people may experience.

1 comment:

  1. The smell of my blow dryer when it is on reminds me of girls camp. Haha. Take that for random.

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