¿Por qué hay olores que desencadenan recuerdos?

Why are there smells that trigger memories?

The smell of coffee and toast in the morning, a freshly washed sweater, a bouquet of flowers... All these scents bring us a deep sense of well-being. Smells transmit emotions, sensations, and memories to us.

There are scents that transport us to the past, to a specific place or moment, making us remember to whom or what that smell belonged, and making us relive what we felt at that time. Nostalgia when smelling the perfume of a former partner, joy when remembering the smell of the grandparents' house, or even relaxation when recalling the unmistakable smell of the beach and summer.

The brain retains a smell better than any other information. Various studies reveal that humans remember 35% of what they smell compared to 5% of what they see, 2% of what they hear, and 1% of what they touch. In addition, the memory is capable of retaining up to 10,000 different scents, however, it only recognizes 200 colors. We memorize 7 times more of what we smell than what we see, and it takes 10 years to forget a smell compared to just 3 years to forget an image.

The sense of smell, in addition to transmitting information, connects with our unconscious and activates our emotions. This is because scents are processed in a part of the brain called the limbic system, which is responsible for creating emotional responses, learning, and memory. Therefore, when it receives a smell, it associates it with lived situations, emotions, and then archives it as a memory.

And you, what scents make you feel good? What do they remind you of?

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