My View, Karen Staniforth: A scent seems to trigger lost memories

Perfume can evoke memories
Perfume can evoke memories

Smelling a delightful aroma is one of life’s great pleasures.

I walked into the chemist the other day and was asked if I wanted to test one of their new body sprays.

Being a bit of a fragrance junkie I couldn’t resist a spritz – and immediately I was transported to the side of a pool as my memory took me back to a holiday long past.

Hawaiian Tropic have cleverly blended their famous suntan oil fragrances of coconut with the likes of lotus flowers and fruit.

Smelling like your favourite suntan lotion might not be for everyone, but at this time of year it’s certainly worth a try for those looking to get into a beachy mood and as our thoughts turn to summer holidays.

Our sense of smell is very closely connected to memory and as such is highly emotive.

According to research, smells present us with powerful triggers and can even help to recover lost memories.

Memories triggered by smell certainly always seem to be clearer, more intense and more emotional to me.

This got me thinking about our amazing sense of smell and how it helps us become our very own time traveller.

Just by smelling a fragrance from our youth, we can be taken back to those heady days of fun and happy times.

In France, Parisian women introduce their daughters to some of the world’s most famous fragrance houses at 12 years old to help them establish their signature fragrance – it is deemed a rite of passage.

My own fragrance journey started when I was sneaking a spray of my big sister’s latest perfume from her dressing table, usually getting caught and then reprimanded by mother.

But then reeking of it was probably a bit of a giveaway!

When I was getting married I wanted a fragrance that was new to me, a gift to myself to help create my future memories.

I didn’t want to wear one of my usual favourites.

I wanted a neutral fragrance, one that was fresh and held no memories.

Now when I smell Cerruti 1881 – my fragrance of choice – I am transported right back to my wedding day. As a result, it is my special perfume reserved for special times, so I can continue to save these fragrant notes in my memory bank.

If you are in a rut with your fragrance, why not take a walk around the aisles of our many fragrance retailers at Frenchgate Shopping Centre?

Step back in time or commit to a new fragrance for your own future memory bank.

Try some of the old classics that have been reinvented such as Opium Black or release your inner bohemian with Lust from Lush.