Posts Tagged Olfaction
I was inspired to write this post from another post I read on Kim Griffin’s Blog about Time Travel. I had prejudiced my idea of what the post was going to be about (before reading it) – science fiction and time travel. To my surprise it was about neither. The post centered around music. More to the point is how hearing a song can BOOM; instantly transport us to another time and place.
Her subject was music however mine is smell. For me, sometimes the smell of an apple pie baking transports me back to my childhood days when I used to spend weeks at my grandparents house. On occasion during a few summer days when I drive past honeysuckle plants and smell their nectar, I am transported to that summer when the 17 year old girl sent to watch her cousins or nieces gave me at ten years old my lessons in French kissing.
The combination of cigarette smoke and hospital rooms transports me to my aunt’s hospital bedside when the decision was put forth to family members about not feeding her anymore because feeding her was just feeding her cancer cells and bringing death on a little quicker.
The olfactory bulb (group of nerves that enable our sense of smell) is closely related to our Limbic system which is made up of the Hippocampus and the Hypothalamus among other parts of the brain. The Limbic system is primarily responsible for our emotions, and the formation of memories. Being in such close proximity to the olfactory bulb, is it any wonder that smells can trigger such strong memories?
Do you have any smells that can transport you to places? Are they good places or bad places?
The sense of smell is a strong catalyst for remembering moments from the past. Fond memories of Thanksgiving at your grandparents can be conjured up by the smell of an apple pie or the aroma of hot chocolate can bring back memories of a week in the mountains with family and friends.
For me there is a smell in the outdoor air that has a “it’s gonna snow” smell to it. You might know what I mean and you might not, but when I smell that, whether or not it is supposed to snow, has me remembering all the Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners I had as a child. These are the times when all the additional sections of the dining room table have been added and the card tables have been pulled out so the kids have a place to sit and eat. When even though family members were packing the house and bringing whatever their assigned dish was, the overpowering smell was the cinnamon from the still baking apple pies. I was blessed with a wonderful family. From my nuclear family to the extended family as well as my new found blogging family. Our get-togethers have never been the kind of fiasco you’ve seen in movies. Thank God! Although, it might have been fun to have an Aunt Bethany say grace like in Christmas Vacation!
What food conjures up images and memories of Christmas past for you?