You can travel 15 years and 2000 miles with a mere sniff of the right aroma. It is late Spring in the Finger Lakes region of New York and the fragrance of honeysuckle is wafting through the air and takes me back to working in the yard of a dilapidated stone house in Connecticut 25 years ago. Moth balls trigger flashbacks of my Navy boot camp in 1988. The blooming lilac bushes near the restaurant deck overlooking Seneca lake, took me back to the 300 year old house we had in Connecticut. We had over 30 lilac bushes that were so abundant I would bless everyone I could with a huge bouquet each spring. Not all memories are pleasant. A friend was recounting his experience in the war and he is immediately transported across the world to a desert where he lost dear brothers in arms with just the wrong smell. Smell is one of the strongest senses we have and is closely tied to our memory. A sure fire way to make a memory stick is to add something that will utilize the sense of smell. What is it for you; chocolate chip cookies, bread baking or a musty smell that brings back memories of grandmas basement. The sense of smell is a sense that is often overlooked, but is one that is at our core. So make the most of what you have and go experiment, go out and smell the world around you.
What smells bring back pleasurable and painful memories? What smells do you intentionally avoid? What smell do you like that others don't? What kinds of memories to smells trigger; people, location, experience, feeling, images? How can you enhance your use of the sense of smell to make memories?