Scent Memories on the new Zija Blog

Your sense of smell has a direct link to the brain, which is why essential oils can evoke such pleasant memories of past holidays.

scent memories
I was delighted to see that there is now a new Zija Blog.  On a regular basis, we will be seeing news about exciting products that Zija  International is making available to us. I was particularly struck by a recent article entitled Scent Memories of the Holidays which was written by Dr. Scott Johnson. You should go to the original article for all the details but here is a summary:


The introduction spells out the importance of aromas in triggering memories.
We’ve all experienced it — a captivating and familiar aroma that reminds you of a past event, place, or person. The odour may even trigger emotions so strong you feel you are actually there and reliving the past. It could be grandma’s gingerbread cookies, a fresh cut fir tree, the mouthwatering aroma of a holiday meal, or a host of other familiar odours These experiences associated with odours are called scent memories and demonstrate the powerful influence odours have on  memories and emotions.
The article then goes on to explain how this happens. The reason is that your sense of smell is directly linked to the brain. There is a direct connection whereby odour molecules are carried by the olfactory bulb to the amygdala (the part of our brain involved in personal experiences and emotions) and to the hippocampus (the part of the brain involved in associative learning). Collectively, the amygdala and hippocampus coordinate a conditioned response that rapidly links familiar aromas with memories and their associated memories.

This means that your sense of smell is by far the most powerful of the senses. Nervous system communications from visual, auditory (sound), and tactile (touch) senses do not pass through these brain areas. Nostalgic memories are triggered regularly at this time of year that involves holiday traditions and favourite foods.

Essential oils can be an important part of these holiday traditions and will interact with the brain to trigger positive memories and emotions. They can also help cement your holiday memories into the brain for later retrieval.

Here are just some of the essential oils that you may use to stir your memories.

  • Woodsy oils like balsam fir, pine, and spruce
  • Essential oils from spices like cinnamon, clove, ginger, and nutmeg
  • Orange and tangerine
  • Peppermint and pine

If you diffuse your favourite holiday scents, you will complement the warmth of the holiday season in your home and strengthen your memories of those cherished moments from the past. You can visit the Zija International online store to see the full array of essential oils by clicking here.

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