Smells can trigger powerful emotional memories from the past more effectively than other senses like sight and sound, and so smells – cut grass, baked bread or perfumes.
And now scientists have discovered that losing the sense of smell – and its associated memories - can be an early effect of diseases like Alzheimer’s.
With over half a million women in the UK living with dementia, The Perfume Shop, the UK’s leading authority in perfume has partnered with Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity, for the Memories Matter campaign, exploring the connection between scent and memory in a bid to increase awareness and raise vital funds to support ongoing research into finding preventions, causes, treatments and a cure for dementia.
Significant smells in people’s lives, such as favourite perfumes, have a strong effect on memory centres in the brain, dilating the pupil markedly – a reaction that usually occurs in response to pain, loud noises or romantic interest.
Along with the loss of every day odours such as food, the outdoors and home, for some it can mean losing emotions associated with specific smells and a lifetime of treasured memories lost in a heartbeat.
Send in your scents
The insight has prompted The Perfume Shop to encourage customers to share their own memories of special scents in their lives, from the freshly baked bread in the family kitchen to the perfume or aftershave of a first love.
During The Perfume Shop’s fundraising drive for Alzheimer’s Research UK from May 16-24th, the retailer is encouraging you to tweet a picture of your favourite scent memory photos to @perfumeshop with the hashtag #memoriesmatter. All scent memories shared will be met with a £1 donation from The Perfume Shop to the charity.
Customers will also be able to make a £1 donation for in-store gift-wrapping of purchases or make a £2 text donation by texting DEFEAT to 70099.
What's your favourite scent memory? Share your memories in the Comments box below.