Seasonal scents: Psychology, How Memories Are Triggered with Specific Cue

S’mores, salty ocean breezes, veggie burgers on the grill, sweaty people on the bus — what’s the smell you associate the most with summer?

To answer the prompt shortly, it is the salty ocean breezes. When i was a child my parents always took me and my sister to Sol Elite Marbella, it is a hotel with beachfront located around four hours from my city. There are three buildings making a U shape with a pool on the center. The building is made from a rocky white wall, which reflect the sunray on the afternoon. The building itself look very old with a clean interior, sort of the building I used to see in the movies located at South America. It was a symbol of happiness to me, the sun shining through the trees, the ocean breezes, the sound of waves roaring on the shore and kids running around the beach. To me it was a good old day, a day I always and will cherish on my flashback.

The last time I went there was when I’m in high school, which is four years ago and I felt excited visiting that beach again. All my memories comes back abundantly, the laughter we had, the feeling of joy playing with sands on the beach making sandcastle (which doesn’t look like one), and eating the hot dog I used to eat 9 years earlier! How good thise moments are.

As a medicals student interested in psychology and psychiatry, I read lots of self help books. One message I got from the book about human psychology is that when we are exposed to some trigger like scents, music, or scenery that we have association before, we are easier to remember what happened the last time we got that trigger before. That’s why victim of a crime often asked to visit the crime scene after it happened, to help remember the details of the crime. It is a good and bad thing that we have such memories triggered when we are exposed to the situation, on the positive side we could cherish the good old day, and on the negative side we could also unintentionally remember unpleasant things happening to us before.



About Journeyman

A global macro analyst with over four years experience in the financial market, the author began his career as an equity analyst before transitioning to macro research focusing on Emerging Markets at a well-known independent research firm. He read voraciously, spending most of his free time following The Economist magazine and reading topics on finance and self-improvement. When off duty, he works part-time for Getty Images, taking pictures from all over the globe. To date, he has over 1200 pictures over 35 countries being sold through the company.
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2 Responses to Seasonal scents: Psychology, How Memories Are Triggered with Specific Cue

  1. Pingback: Poem / Poetry – “The Path That Lies Ahead” | toofulltowrite (I've started so I'll finish)

  2. Pingback: My five favorite summer smells | The Bohemian Rock Star's "Untitled Project"

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