Scented Candles and Memories

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Did you know that aromatherapy candles and other scented aromatherapy devices can jog memories?

Whether you’re using standard flame-based scented candles, scented electric candles, tea candles, or any other kind (except Roman candles! Save those for a party), you can turn your home into a relaxing place to rest and reminisce. 

But how does that work? Why is it that when we’re relaxing in the tub with our scented floating candles or spooky black candles we suddenly get flooded with memories?

We’re here to explain. Keep reading to learn all about how scents trigger memories. 

The Mind-Nose Connection 

When we smell something, that scent bypasses the thalamus (which is responsible for sending information to the hippocampus and amygdala which are responsible for memory and emotional processing).

If scents bypass that, how do they get lodged in our memory? 

Well, scents actually bypass the middle-man (the thalamus) to connect directly to those parts of the brain. They do this by going straight to the olfactory bulb.

This means that scents trigger our memories faster than other sensory stimuli

That’s right; when you light those scented soy candles you’re getting an immediate flood of memory-triggering stimuli. 

The Evolutionary Impact

While most animals have a great sense of smell in relation to humans, humans still have over 1,000 types of smell receptors. This means that we’re able to recognize and differentiate scents more effectively than sounds, sights, or feelings. 

Even single-celled organisms use scents to understand their surroundings. Animals use scent to remember what foods are safe, what enemies are nearby, and where their homes and families are. 

We’re not so different. While we’ve evolved beyond the need for such a strong sense of smell, we still reap the benefits. 

Picking Your Scented Candles

If you want to pick a scent of tea light candles or taper candles to trigger an important memory, try to mentally put yourself in the place where that memory occurred. 

You may find that spearmint triggers memories of your grandmother’s house, or vanilla sends you back to baking cookies with a friend. Some people don’t intend to jog their memories with scent. It happens by accident.

You can also buy candles with the intent to have them trigger your memories of the current moment in the future. For example, if you’ve just gotten married, consider buying aromatherapy candles that smell like the perfume that you wore or the venue that you attended. 

On the other hand, if you know that a scent might be stressful for you (like if you associate the smell of lavender with a perfume that a former partner wore), avoid those scents. 

Aromatherapy Candles and Memories: a Serious Connection

Aromatherapy candles are great for triggering memories from better times. You can remember a good vacation, a special event, or a special person in your life. 

When you scent your home with scented candles you can also set yourself or your family up for good memories in the future when they get the same scents for their own homes. 

Do you want to find a signature scent for your house? Scentsy has what you need. Check out our catalog to find the perfect scent and drift into pleasant memories today.

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