Not all those who wander are lost

J.R.R Tolkien

Scent Memories

Our sense of smell is directly connected to the limbic system, the most ancient and primitive part of the brain, which is thought to be the seat of emotion. Smell sensations are relayed to the cortex, where ‘cognitive’ recognition occurs, only after the deepest parts of our brains have been stimulated. By the time we correctly name a particular scent, the scent has already activated the limbic system, triggering more deep-seated emotional responses.

The sense of smell allows us to detect information from our environment and all that inhabits it. It is the oldest of all the senses and relies on odorants in the form of volatile molecules to stimulate it.

So… how does it work?!

As an odour molecule enters our nose it travels towards the mucous membrane, which is located at the top of the airway either side of the nasal septum, where the scent receptors are located.

The odour molecule swirls over the mucous membrane until it finds an olfactory receptor that it fits into, which then sends a message to the brain.

This phenomenon is often referred to as the lock and key theory (Roja Dove)– the receptor works like a lock, the odour like a key.

LORDS Fragrance House has been born out of the importance scent brings to memories, and how you can be transported to somewhere simply from a smell. Everyone has different experiences & memories with scents, so whilst it may take you somewhere, it will take the person next to you somewhere else! That is what is so exciting about fragrance and why we all like different things. If you want to share your own scent memories with the fragrance community you can visit The Fragrance Foundation UK – #ScentMemories page. They also offer amazing courses if you are interested in learning more about the perfume world.

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.

Dr Seuss