Tracy Shaffer: Your nose knows


Have you ever smelled something in the air that reminded you of a time in your life? Maybe a scent of a fireplace or flowers.

Research is being done on scents and our memory. They did a test on volunteers and, while they played a game, the participants smelled roses. That night, while sleeping, the scent of roses was put into some of the rooms.


They found the next morning that about 97 percent of the people who had the scent of roses put in their rooms remembered parts of the game.

Do we learn in our sleep? They are studying that now.

I wonder if I fell asleep with headphones on listening to a recipe if, the next morning, I could wake up and make the recipe without any help.

There are times I smell eucalyptus and I go right back to one of the first times I went to the zoo and that smell was so strong.

I have at times smelled a fireplace, and the wood burning takes me back to my younger days when we would go camping. The smell is a campfire and bacon cooking in the morning. The memory is very strong, and it is almost like I am back there again.

Smells remind us of things. So, I could understand that smelling something as you are learning a new thing, then smelling that again later would remind you of what you had learned.

Did that make sense at all? I knew what I was saying, but I am not sure it came out that way. Let me smell the orange juice I am drinking. OK, now I remember.

Now, I have to decide what scent I would relate to work so I can remember all I have to do. Cinnamon? Coconut? No, I don't like those much. I will have to work on that one.

There are always new ideas popping up on how we can learn. I am all for new ideas and ways to learn more.

I think it makes perfect sense to bring back a memory with a scent. Can we teach old dogs new tricks?

Only the nose knows when you sense the scent.

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