Smell and memory

My husband has little to no smell sense. I’m interested to understand if there are real evidence to smells relating to memory. I believe that I smell things that flash me back to my childhood and holidays on the beach. Mr N may just have a selective hearing as well as memories - but wondered if this is a scientific fact. I did read this article which was interesting https://www.fifthsense.org.uk/psychology-and-smell/

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I can’t comment in any way other than my own experience and opinion on this subject. I am however definitely convinced that certain smells, nevermind how long ago, bring back associations and memories, sometimes so well that it’s like being back at the time you first experienced them.
Even though I am now 43 there are plenty of occasions when I can smell something completely unexpectedly that takes me back to a moment in time, previously forgotten about, even in childhood, that brings back a very vivid memory!
I remember discussing this subject with friends and family members and all have agreed to having similar experiences!
So wether scientifically provable or not I am completely in full belief that this phenomenon is 100% real!

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Absolutely. 100% agree with this. Scents can transport people to places, times and to situations . They can remind you of good and bad experiences. Really interesting.

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So it turns out that our memories are stored in compartments that are next to an old part of the brain responsible for scent perception … the theory I have read in some science lit is that’s why smells hit us so immediately as they have access both a very old/ancient part of our brain but also next door to our memories so they have a way of pairing - or forming matches … in fact sometimes nothing achieves time travel for me faster or more authentically than smelling a particular baked good I may associate with my grandma or …. Most of us will have some of these scents and we won’t necessarily be able to articulate them but absolutely will know when those buttons are firing! The other part of scent which I found super interesting is how quickly it hits the brain … in fact so much so that it bypasses our ability to describe it in words … one of the reasons why for thousands of different scents that we can sense we have so few words … so much to discover. :pray:

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Fascinating. Thanks for that.

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It’s always so interesting to me when often you can’t quite put your finger on the source or name of a scent, but you can clearly recall a location or moment in time that you associate with the scent.

For example, I might not identify a simple smell as “coconut and sunscreen”, but instead recall it as: May 19th, 2011 when I walked through a particular shopping centre along a beach in Pensacola, or something :laughing: :rofl:

It’s incredible how our brains work! I also wish we knew more about how other animals use and visualise scent. Apparently guinea pigs have a sense of smell 25x greater than humans and cows have over 1,100 more olfactory receptors than us - so I’m confident there’s a lot still out there for us to learn :books: :cow:

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Wow. Amazing. Very humbling as a human.

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