body Brand health

Understanding The Link Between Fragrance and Memory

May 26, 2016

Scent plays a major role in what we do here at Senteurs d’Orient. We’ve made crafting complex, beautiful floral and botanical fragrances a top priority in our products because scent is much more than just smelling good (not that that’s a bad thing). There’s a deeper reason why you might be obsessed with the smell of roses or why a whiff of a crayon box instantly brings back childhood memories - and it has to do with your brain.

The brain's olfactory system is located in close proximity to the amygdala, which processes emotion, and the hippocampus, which is responsible for learning capabilities and housing memory. This is why smell - sometimes much more powerfully than a song or image - can conjure old memories and powerful emotional responses almost instantaneously. (Fascinating, right?)

If you think about it, it makes total sense. For example, I think of my mother every time I smell the perfume she wears - same thing with my sister. When I studied abroad in Paris, I would sometimes spritz their signature scents whenever I wandered into a Sephora in an effort to make them seem closer to me. (This actually kind of just made me miss them more.) The aroma of a freshly brewed cup of genmaicha (green tea with brown rice) remind me of my grandmother's house in Japan. Our CEO, Sarah, has memories of spending childhood summers in the fields of the South of France with her family; these experiences manifest themselves in our floral scented soaps in delicate rose and lavender. The warm, fragrant steam from a cup of White Coffee - a traditional Lebanese beverage made with orange blossom water - inspires our Orange Blossom soap and is a nod to our Oriental heritage. The bottom line? Scents tell a story, and that’s what we’re all about.

We’ve got some exciting news to share: A selection of our soaps (plus an exclusive set of three!) are now available for purchase on Net-a-Porter! Click here to shop our page.