Senses that provoke memories

@catalady (363)
August 11, 2010 2:50pm CST
Which of your senses is most likely to bring back memories of childhood to you, good or bad? I find that my sense of smell is the sense most likely to evoke memories for me and make me recall things from my childhood. Whenever I smell Polo mints or Ponds face cream it instantly reminds me of my nanna who is no longer with us , as she always ate Polos and used Ponds face cream all the time. If I smell Old Spice aftershave ( which thankfully is not often these days! ) it reminds me of my Dad when I was growing up as he always used this..he is still with us, thankfully, and probably wonders now just why he did use Old Spice! The smell of freshly percolated coffee reminds me of our neighbours from a very young age...she was Canadian and always had the percolator on, I thought she was so exotic and posh at the time :o) My Mum wore a particulaer perfume whenever she was going somehere special so when I smell that I think of my Mum all dressed up and excited to be going out. Music often evokes some memories but they are general feelings of happiness, joy, pleasure, unhappiness or sadness..it doesn't really remind me of specific people or times, whereas smells often bring back specific occasions or people. Which sense does this for you?
1 person likes this
13 responses
• Philippines
12 Aug 10
sense of hearing... when i hear my fvorite songs before it takes me back to the past.. i guess theyre jst memorable
1 person likes this
@MrDollars (454)
• Australia
18 Aug 10
I would have to say that it is definitely smell that brings back a memory to me. It is quite odd to be honest. Like for example I would be walking down the street and I would smell something that would take me back so fast to somewhere in my past. Or sometimes I would smell that would seem so familiar to me but I can not quite put my finger on what memory it reminds me of. Hope that makes sense. haha $-MrDollars-$
@catalady (363)
18 Aug 10
hi MrDollars, yep..that makes perfect sense to me :o) There are times that I smell something and I know it it evoking a memory but I can't quite put my finger on what it is...but I usually know if it is a happy or sad memory.
• Australia
18 Aug 10
I am so glad that you understand what I am talking about haha. But yeah, it is weird how a certain thing could take you back to a certain moment in your life. It is quite amazing. $-MrDollars-$
@AutumnGold (1062)
11 Aug 10
Hello Cat When I was a kid a baker used to come to our street in a van and sell stuff from there. The van had a certain smell, I can't even put my finger on what it was, a sort of mix of sweet cakes and bread and I'll never forget it. Whenever I smell that smell now it reminds me of when I was really young, about three or four. Old spice reminds me too, my dad used to use it a lot and he still does, whenever I'm at my parents place I get reminded of when I was kid just by the smell of his aftershave.
@catalady (363)
11 Aug 10
hehehehe...so we have a shared aroma memory of Dads who wore Old Spice, mine doesn't wear it anymore though..I think he moved on...oh and grew a beard :o)
1 person likes this
12 Aug 10
My dad grew a beard once but it was ginger! He had dark brown hair before it went grey so his beard didn't last long
@kukueye (1761)
• Malaysia
12 Aug 10
PErsonally i am more stimulate visually rather than perfume or smell.Perfume to me will be artificial feeling and be pundent if i smell perfume.However , visually stimulus like movies tv or even news can send back flashbacks which usually are bad memories of disaster , wrong decisions.Then i have to remind me to forget forget become depression for the whole day.
@catalady (363)
12 Aug 10
Oh dear kukueye...your memories bought back by visual things don't sound too happy most of the time for you. Does listening to music bring back any happy memories for you?
1 person likes this
• Philippines
12 Aug 10
I'ts good you have smell as your sense detector that provokes memories. With me, I do remember some good memories with my sense of sight, a lot of things are better remembered and cherished through sight. By this a flashback from the past seems to refresh some unforgettable moments.
@catalady (363)
12 Aug 10
I find it amazing that you really would imagine sight to be the strongest sense to provoke memories , and of course you do see things again and it immediately reminds you of something but generally it seems that smells are the most provoking senses to evoke memories. I guess its because we can experience smells anywhere , you need to be in the right place to actually see the thing that reminds you of something.
1 person likes this
• Vietnam
12 Aug 10
IF something would to bring me back to my memories i would say its sense of smell and music. I love the smell of the dirt after raining, its fresh and remind me of my old home. And the music, most bring back to me horror memories when i have to listen before going on a test. Eventhough its just a song but it has deeply attached into my mind and i feel like a chill going down my spine wherever my ears catch even a slightest rhytheme of that song
@catalady (363)
12 Aug 10
Music and smells seem to be really strong catcalysts for evoking memories don't they.... both good and bad
1 person likes this
• Philippines
12 Aug 10
For me it would be the sense of smell. I've had many experiences where smelling something that's been associated to my past brings back vivid memories of it. There was a time when I visited a kindergarten classroom and it had the same odor as when I was still in kinder, probably was the scent of the blackboard, chalks, wooden tables and chairs, and this really brought back memories of my childhood days. Ahh.. miss being a kid.
@catalady (363)
12 Aug 10
I know just where you are coming from with the smells and aromas of school, and for me it was 30 years since I had been at junior school yet just smelling those smells bought it all back to me in an instant.
1 person likes this
@jugsjugs (13046)
11 Aug 10
There are things that i smell like mens after shave that remind me of my dad,which reminds me of all the good times we had aswell as all those times i used to say that all the women will smell him from miles away.There are certain flowers aswell as perfumes that also remind me of my nan and all the good times we shared while i was growing up.
@catalady (363)
11 Aug 10
I love 'smells and aromas'... I find they really bring back memories for me....thankfully mostly happy ones too :o)
1 person likes this
@2004cqui (2823)
• United States
11 Aug 10
I think you are right about smells and memory's. I once went back to my old elementary school. I didn't have my best experiences in that building. I didn't think of my memory's for about two hours. I walked into the bathroom and the smell from the air freshener in there I have never smelled anywhere else for years. Memory's came flooding back. I almost ran out of the building. I didn't but I was happy when did leave. I wanted to turn around and scream at the building "Ha! I am a success, I have to children, a husband and a great job in banking!" My best memory's as a kid were from training horses and people to ride them. I loved everything about horses and was either riding them or thinking about how to get better at riding them. Today, when I'm in a store that sells horse tack I go and smell it. All those memory's come flooding back. I find myself wishing someone would come up and ask me a question about anything regarding tack (saddles, bridles, etc.) Hubby fills in that gap.
@catalady (363)
11 Aug 10
I once went back to my old junior school and as soon as I walked in the smell of the floor polish , the dining hall and the cleaning materials immediately took me back to being a kid....I was expecting a teacher to walk around the corner and ask me what I was doing and to go back to my classroom! :o)
1 person likes this
@unique16 (1531)
• United States
11 Aug 10
Hello, I would say roses. My love wearing rose perfume and my dad love growing them in rock garden. The other foods are steak, barbeques, cakes, cupcakes and cookies and pies... the comfort food especailly if you had a long day. That would be uplifting meal for me. Chicken and succatash food. I do like Old spice for me too! Such a manly smell not too sweet and not heavy or musky or woodsy smell. Thanks and have a great day! Sincerley Unique16
@catalady (363)
11 Aug 10
Oooooh you just reminded me of another one when you mentioned your Dad growing Roses unique...whenever i smell newly picked tomatoes it reminds me of my grandads greenhouse, now that's a lovely memory.
1 person likes this
@zralte (4186)
• India
11 Aug 10
I think sight will be number one. If I see a picture or something. And yes, music. A certain kind of music will bring me back to my childhood days.
@catalady (363)
11 Aug 10
I can never quite remember specific occasions with music, though some music just remoinds me of school discos and all the boys standing around the hall watching the girls dancing, nudging each other and daring each other to 'ask a girl out' :o)
1 person likes this
@jennyze (7048)
• Indonesia
12 Aug 10
For me it is smell (just like you); perfumes, flowers and foods. Some smells remind me of certain people and sometimes they remind me of certain occasions, happy and sad.
• Philippines
11 Aug 10
Music does this to me. This particular song takes me back in time, December usually, where I was going to church with friends for Christmas Eve mass. Always at that time. I don't know why and it's not even my favorite song!