Why Do We Link Scent With Memories?

When scent evokes emotion or memory, it is called a Proustian moment. The Proustian moment is described as “a sensory experience that triggers a rush of memories often long past, or even seemingly forgotten.”  

Scientists believe that smell and memory are so closely linked because the anatomy of the brain allows olfactory signals to get to the limbic system very quickly. Experts say the memories associated with smells tend to be older and thought about less often, meaning the recollection is very vivid when it happens.

Smells are handled by the olfactory bulb, the structure in the front of the brain that sends information to the other areas of the body’s central command for further processing. Odours take a direct route to the limbic system, including the amygdala and the hippocampus, the regions related to emotion and memory.

Your sense of smell is the first sense that you will fully develop as a child - and scents that you like and dislike as a child will form the basis for your scent palette for the rest of your life. Your brain will form links between scents and happy memories, people and places.

Aromas can evoke emotion and memory and at Olivia’s Haven, we believe this is one of the many reasons why our products are so special. Each scent is created by hand in our North Coast workshop, with every scent having a unique story that links to our Founder Olivia’s childhood. These memories serve as personal inspiration for all our scents, stories and brand aesthetics.

For instance, Eighter Island smells like sea air and driftwood - this instantly takes Olivia back to the summers of her childhood, spent on Eighter Island, off the coast of Donegal.

Potting Shed was created to celebrate her dad’s love of plants, growing and nurturing his garden - hence the tomato and herb notes.

Tea in the Orangery takes Olivia back to afternoons spent in her Granny Sherrard’s orangery, enjoying tea and cakes.

The beauty of Olivia’s Haven fragrances is that Olivia created these scents with her childhood memories and stories, and now they are in your homes, with your families where you can create special, unique memories for many years to come. 

Check out our full collection of scents, all available as soy candles, wax melts and reed diffusers.


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