The Science Behind Odor Induced Memory


What's this all about....?

You are walking down the street one day and a lady brushes past you. You don't know this lady but the encounter stops you in your tracks. Why?

Because you know her perfume. 

In a split second you are transported back to a memory of your grandmother and without any effort you can clearly remember what your grandmother looked like and, most importantly, how you felt when you were with her.

You have just experienced a very powerful sensation called ODOR INDUCED MEMORY (OIM).

Through my Aromatherapy training I learned that aromas have the ability to heal us both emotionally, and physically.  When I began working hands-on with essential oils I also witnessed how aromas can sometimes uncover buried memories in people. 

This weird occurrence got me thinking! I began to develop products to help people create deliberate aroma memories. As I dug deeper I discovered that there was some pretty compelling scientific data to support this idea of mine and it was called ODOR INDUCED MEMORY or OIM.

Scientists had already discovered that by assigning specific aromas to specific 'often stress inducing' tasks, we can potentially train our minds with aroma, if repeated we can start to predict our emotional behavior each time that task is performed.



The olfactory cortex is embedded within the brain’s limbic system and amygdala, where emotions are born and emotional memories stored. That’s why smell, feelings and memories become so easily and intimately woven together. 


Questions + Answers

How can Aroma Memory help reduce my anxiety?

 Aroma Memory can be an effective way to manage general anxiety. If you follow the meditation while wearing your aroma you will create an association that you can call on when you need to calm your emotions. When repeated daily the meditation is an excellent tool to swing the control of your emotions back into your hands. You can also create specific aroma memories to events or tasks...for example if you have issues around public speaking you might assign a particular aroma to that task, use the aroma while rehearsing the speech to help manage your fear.

How can Aroma Memory help me study? 

Imagine that you have a big test coming up, you'll study, you'll prepare the best way you can but on the day of the test the anxiety wobbles start to set in.  You'll worry that you'll forget everything you studied and your confidence to succeed will begin fade.

Now imagine a different version of events...During your study time, when you are comfortable and have access to all the information, you introduce a unique aroma . During that time your brain will associate that unique aroma with the material you are studying.  Therefore, when it's time to take the test and you apply the same aroma to your bracelet, the emotional memory area of your brain will awaken and automatically default back to that study time.  Assigning a different aroma to individual subjects increases the odds that you will remember the information.