“Our experience of the holidays just wouldn’t be the same without our noses.” So begins the article “Making Scents of the Holidays,” a Psychology Today, December 5 post. Dr. Rachel Herz goes on to explain the science of scent and emotions, then says that scents associated with holidays often depend on your cultural upbringing. So, maybe curry makes you think Christmas, or the sweetness of a certain tropical flower. If you have a history with a particular scent, a rush of emotion (good or bad) will accompany a drift of it to your nose. (The spicy scent of carnations makes me think of young love, when my nose was buried in my tall date’s boutonniere while slow-dancing at prom.) Imagine a holiday season without any scents – something will be missing!
My particular scent delight at Christmas is that aroma of fresh-baked cookies, undoubtedly part of the reason I’m so gung-ho on getting the kids involved in baking. While I love to soak in the smells of evergreen branches and fire smoke, I associate them more with camping since I grew up with fake trees and no fireplace! So what scents bring YOU a rush of memories?