Christmas Scents

Does a whiff of cinnamon bring back memories of your grandmother’s kitchen? Is the smell of a fir tree unalterably linked to Christmas morning? The sense of smell is uniquely connected to memories, especially during the holiday season. The connection between smell and memory is strong because it is so immediate. In fact, did you know that the sense of smell is the only one of the five senses that bypasses the rational part of the brain and goes directly to the limbic area, where memory and emotion are? Which is why when you smell something, it immediately takes you on a walk down memory lane, allowing you to recall the emotion associated with that scent from the first time you smelled it. This direct connection between smell and the brain is how aromas become strong memory triggers, often without our awareness until we smell the same scent again. Now think about how that plays out in your home. When you or a guest walks in, the strongest first impression will be the scent, and it will be the number-one thing that is sure to be remembered. It’s not a detail you want to overlook! Part of the fun of holiday festivities is revisiting the sights, sounds, and smells of the season.