What is aromatic memory and how does it work? 5 minutes Thanks to the memory of aromas, you choose foods or activities that remind you of the scents from your childhood and the happy moments of your life. Today we will discuss how this part of your brain works.
Have you ever smelled something that immediately brought you back to childhood? Or bought a cake because it smelled like the ones your grandmother used to bake? Both are examples of working odor memory. It is the most basic type of memory and is strongly associated with your emotions. This is a link that marketers know very well and use to sell their products to us.
It is important to clarify that you understand smell – this is a chemical system. Thus, it is responsible for detecting chemicals that cause odors in the environment. This process is critical to survival because it helps identify substances that can be hazardous, such as rotten food.
The most effective feeling
This is also one of the most effective senses, because they are directly connected with the brain structures that process information. Your body and brain processes recognize odors as follows:
- Scent molecules floating in the air penetrate into the nostrils through the mucous membrane. They then dissolve into molecules that can be trapped in your olfactory system.
- Beneath the mucous membrane is a layer called the olfactory epithelium. This structure contains neural receptors that specialize in recognizing odors.
- These nerve cells send information to the olfactory cells, the brain structure located just behind the nose.
- They have sensory receptors that send messages to the limbic system. This system, in turn, processes emotional information and helps consolidate memories. It also sends information to the cerebral cortex, which helps change conscious thoughts.
Brain structures where information ends. up are those that help develop the memory of the scent. It allows smells and memories to be linked, which helps you awaken and recognize different aspects of your daily life.
Limbic system and scent memory
We know that the limbic system is fundamental to the consolidation of information related to scent. This system consists of structures such as the amygdala, thalamus, and the winding girdle, among others. This is due to involuntary or instinctive reactions. Smell memory also helps process emotional information and provides stimuli.
The amygdala plays a key role in the emotional response as it is immediately activated as a response to smell. It either gives the sense of smell, or evokes memories with the help of smell.
This system is one of the oldest in the brain and is responsible for your least rational actions. This means that the information that becomes part of the memory of the scent can stimulate certain decisions without prior thought.
Cognitive processes involved in scent memory
As we mentioned above, what you experience with your sense of smell is not easy to process with a rational filter … However, it does affect the emotional and social aspects. Various processes in the brain help consolidate information in the olfactory memory. Here are some of them:
- Perception. It is the process of trapping external odors in order to identify them and distinguish them from other odors. The result is a mental representation of the smell, which also relates to its meaning.
- Experience. It is a subjective interpretation and presentation of a smell. In most cases, we perceive smells as pleasant or unpleasant. How you perceive smell is closely related to individual, social, and cultural variables.
- Feelings. Emotions play a central role in odor memory. As we said earlier, aroma information is processed primarily by your emotional brain. Hence, this is usually the most important aspect of this type of memory. Smells are much easier to recall than other types of memory.
- Association. Emotions usually play a major role here, but conscious thoughts also arise. As a result, certain elements and situations are associated with certain flavors. Over time, you can voluntarily recall these memories.
- Storage. This refers to memories that you keep for a long time. Most of the information on smells falls into this category. Context and individual characteristics also influence this process.
Scent memorization and marketing
This is one of the new methods in the world of marketing. Companies use fragrances and memory of smells to promote and sell certain products. The goal is to evoke certain emotions that motivate consumption.
For this purpose, this type of marketing uses the emotions that most influence your choices. purchases. This is due to its ability to prompt action. To do this, they design a fragrance logo or “fragrance brand”. With a perfume brand, a company can use the memories of a particular brand in your mind.
It is important for a perfume brand to evoke feelings, values and memories. Likewise, it should be sufficiently recognizable and sufficiently different from other types of fragrances, in particular from direct competitors’ perfume brands. The better a scent tag evokes positive memories, the better it works.
Thus, smell memory plays, through its direct communication with the brain’s decision-making center, an important role in your life. This connection is very well known to large companies. For this reason, they do not hesitate to use it to activate your ancient instincts and suppress your rational brain.