Monday, July 1, 2013

Smell as Memory

I get an email each business day with a new business idea, and today's was about a kit of scents that is used to help patients with Alzheimer's and dementia. It's called Smell a Memory Kit and here's the explanation:

Working with Singapore-based perfume manufacturer Givaudan, creative agency JWT custom-created a box containing several fragrances that would have personal resonance with patients based on their family history, ethnicity, age and personal stories. The team went to nursing homes in Singapore before creating the perfumes, which were given names such as Bedtime Stories, Mom’s Cooking, Prayer and School Days. It was found that the scents had the power to spark memories and emotions from their past, and was able to create uplifting moods and bring some patients out of themselves for a time.

JWT now aims to bring the kits to two of Singapore’s largest hospitals as a therapy service for elderly patients with conditions such as dementia. Here's what it looks like:

As for me, smells that evoke memories are:
  • lilac and peonies and lavendar
  • this man's talc that was worn by a man I was involved with many years ago -- don't know the kind but it's a distinctive smell and every so often I'll pass a man in the street or on the subway who is wearing it and it always jolts me
  • freshly-mowed grass
  • bunches of dill
  • beachy salt water low tide smell
  • laundry hung outside to dry smell where you bury your face in the material
  • Christmas tree smell
  • I can't describe this but there's a school cafeteria smell that is a combination of roasted turkey, steam heat, steam table that I still smell now and again. It's a pleasant institutional smell if that makes sense.
I am still missing the Body Factory's Seaweed Soap which I loved, loved, loved... it was a joy every morning to shower with it, and it was discontinued.

Ok, what smells bring back memories for you?


mary mc said...

Movie theater popcorn
Wet dirt after it rains
Wood burning in the fireplace
Library bookshelves
Ditto machine ink

Pat said...

I forgot a favorite: a combination of old-fashioned coconutty sun tan lotion and the grease of grilling hot dogs. Mmmmmm... I can smell that salt air and taste that weenie now. Pass the mustard!

Melissa said...

Steaks cooked on open charcoal grill. Cotton candy at the county fair. The smell of bread baking at a bakery near where I lived for a few years.

Amy Laboda said...

Pine forest after a long, soaking rain.