Jingle Smells: The Science Behind The Scents Of Christmas

As Christmas draws closer, many of us will be reminded of festive memories gone by with the power of scent.

Whether it be the woody aroma of the Christmas tree and a roaring open fire, mulled wine and pigs in blankets or warm, rich fruit cake – we all have specific scents that trigger our fondest memories around the festive season.

It’s also common to suddenly have a wash of memories come flooding back after smelling something you haven’t in a while – such as unpacking some old Christmas decorations. Apart from the visual cues, it’s more likely to be the scent of them that’s triggering the memory.

Almost all our senses use impulses that are processed by a ‘buffer’ when they enter the brain called the ‘thalamus’. They are then relayed to various other parts of the brain controlling memory and emotion. Our sense of smell is different. It uses the olfactory bulb, going directly to the bulb without a buffer. The olfactory bulb is linked directly with the parts dealing with emotion and memory such as the hippocampus.

This rapid route through the brain means odours are very strong memory triggers. It’s even thought that some memories, rather than being stored in the hippocampus, are stored in the piriform cortex (a part of the brain relating to our sense of smell.) These memories are directly triggered by smelling the same scent again later in life.

So, next time you get a whiff of mince pies and memories of a Christmas eve from years before come flooding back, you’ll know why.

With the festive season in mind, we decided to focus our effort this year around this theory. We asked Twitter which scents reminded them most of Christmas.

Christmas Poll results: What scent makes you think of Christmas?

With these results in mind our busy elves began creating a new range of our ODR GEL odour neutralisers, designed to smell like Christmas trees. We succeeded and ‘festive forest’ ODR GEL was born, it’s available to purchase online HERE

‘Festive forest’ will also be available for a limited time as ODR neutraliser scent, to be used with our misting systems.

Please get in contact if you’d like to find out more about our range of odour neutralising scents.

For more information contact our experts

Phone: 01905 362100
Email: sales@airspectrum.com