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July 25th, 2000

The Sense of Smell

I’d say that moreso than any other sense, the sense of smell can be extremely evocative. I don’t usually have too many flashbacks associated with touch, sight, taste, or hearing, but in the last couple of days I’ve had some intense memory rushes related to smell. Yesterday morning when I walked into work, for some reason I was hit by this wave (though it was a subtle wave) that opened the floodgates for memories of Ms. Peterson’s Art class in elementary school. Then this morning as I was eating breakfast, I caught a whiff of the morning air that made me think of my early morning babysitting jobs I did during the summers of high school. A more common smell that triggers memories for me is the dirt-grass combo that reminds me of playing baseball in middle school (with separate, distinct smells representing evening practices and Saturday morning games).

I’ve read a number of places that smell is the most attached to memories, but I wonder why that is. Is it because humans have a sensitive sense of smell? If so, can you imagine a dog’s life? Nothing but memories! I’m curious to hear about how often others sense of smell brings back memories, specifically memories of childhood. -ram

Posted in Everyday Life

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