Smell is a potent wizard that transports us across a thousand miles, all the years we have lived and all special moment we have experienced.
No other sense makes us feel so fully alive, so truly human, so deeply, unconsciously, and immediately connected with our memories and experiences. No other sense so moves us.
And what about Christmas period moments?
Ever walk by a bakery, catch a whiff of freshly baked sugar cookies and instantly feel transported to a different time and place—perhaps in your childhood kitchen with mom, baking your favourite Christmas cake?
Certain scents that are highly prevalent during the holiday season evoke feelings of nostalgia—the sensation of reflecting on or longing for the past and past experiences for which we have much affection. We all have likely experienced this phenomenon, but why? And why is it so frequent this time of year?
Those who have happy memories of the Christmas holidays will recall those same positive feelings from simply experiencing the same scents, sounds, sights of the season—no matter where they are. According to www.livescience.com, “Nostalgia is almost like a psychological substitute for the real thing.
These beloved scents of Christmas essentially connect us to our nearest and dearest, even when we can’t be with them.
What is Smell memory?
Who has not encountered a long-forgotten odor that brings to mind suddenly, and with great clarity, a moment from the past? It leaves one marveling at the potency—and persistence—of.
Conventional wisdom credits the French novelist Marcel Proust with the first literary description of the link between smell and memory. His well-known account appears in the opening pages of his multivolume novel Remembrance of Things Past (1913), when the scent of a madeleine dipped in tea awakens childhood memories for the narrator, Marcel.
The madeleine episode has become a cultural touchstone for the smell-memory experience. The poet Diane Ackerman calls him “that voluptuary of smell” and a “great blazer of scent trails through the wilderness of luxury and memory.” The psychologist Rachel Herz claims, “Proust may have been prescient in noting the relationship between olfaction and the phenomenological experience of reliving emotions of the past.” The science essayist Jonah Lehrer believes Proust revealed “basic truths” about memory, specifically that it “has a unique relationship” with the sense of smell. Lehrer credits the novelist with arriving at these truths before scientists did; in fact, he says “Proust was a neuroscientist.”
When we go to live in the house of memory, the real world vanishes all at once.
What are the houses on our street worth compared to the house of our birth,
that house of total interiority, which gave us our sense of inwardness?
That house is remote, is lost, we no longer live in it, we are only too sure that we will never live in it again.
And so it is more than a memory. It is a house of dreams.
—GASTON BACHELARD, “The Oneiric House”
What are the top scents of Christmas season?
For sure, the smell of live Christmas tree, of Gingerbread, of wood and fire inside the fireplace, of orange, cinnamon, mandarin, cloves, berries, cranberries and peppermint.
What are the top ambient fragrances of Christmas season?
We love scented candles, rattan stick diffusers and ambience sprays at the best of times, but Christmas-specific versions really help with the festive ambience inside the home, a retail store or even inside the lobby of the hotel. The following ambient scents we suggest lot are all made for the holiday season and as such, will imbue the rooms with those aromas that conjure up the festivities.
On a scale of 1-10, how likely is the following ambient fragrances…
… Evoke holiday cheer
… Take me back to childhood holidays
… Make me want to cozy up next to it on a chilly winter night
… Smell like the holiday ingredient it promises
A warm and spicy ambient fragrance blending
spicy notes of Elemi and Cloves with the sweetness of Vanilla.
A warm ambient fragrance combining warm and spicy cinnamon and clove,
with juicy orange and a musky base.
A spicy ambient scent that evokes the fragrance of freshly baked cookies
with gingerbread, sweet honey and Star Anise.
A wonderful scent that smells of fir needles, hinoki wood and mint.
An ambient scent recalling the smell of forest during crisp winter’s days
with notes of fir balsam, pine, cedar, musk and amber.
Cinnamon and eucalyptus pine scent, to be diffused inside your SPA during Christmas time.
Incense and rose water fragrance enriched with notes of clove, carnation and papyrus.
A sweet and spiced Tobacco Wood Ambiance fragrance
with orris and saffron, tobacco wood and a warm accord of vanilla and cacao.
An oriental fragrance with an amber heart
composed with amber, cistus, patchouli, sandalwood and vanilla.
Gilbert, Avery. What the Nose Knows: The Science of Scent in Everyday Life. A Synesthetics Inc. Book.
Aftel, Mandy. Fragrant: The Secret Life of Scent. Penguin Publishing Group.