Deakin Communicating Science 2016

EES 200/101

Smemories -Part 1

I have five senses, just like most beings out there. I’m very grateful to have all five, i don’t know what i would do without any of them.

In my blog posts i will be focusing on one of the five senses, the sense of smell. There’s just something about smell that gets be every single time, emotionally that is…


Before i get into the science part of things, let me ask you a question…

Have you ever smelt something and linked it to a certain memory? or melt something and you were able to refer it to something else? like “hey something smells like…” I know most people have, and i’m sure you have too! I live everyday of my life linking smells to memories or just things in general.


One of my treasured memories that I’ve linked to a certain smell, is the memory of my dearest grandmother whom i love and adore with all my heart. I remember the good ol’ days when i was just a little girl, i cant remember my exact age, but i think i was about 4 years-old. I was living in Sudan  at the time with my family. Every time my grandmother came to visit us, she would bring some bananas with her. Bananas were my favorite fruit, they still are… I was in “banana heaven” until one day my family left the country and moved to Egypt, i, being 6 years-old had no choice but to leave with them. I left a part of me behind… My dearest grandmother.

It’s been 14 years since i have last seen my grandmother…

Whenever i peel open a banana, and smell the sweet smell, i’m reminded of my grandmother. The memory of her is so vivid… I’m once again, that little girl, sitting  on my grandmothers lap, listening to her soothing voice as she whispers “you can eat as many as you want”.


I became curious a few years ago, as to why the smell of bananas held so many key memories of my childhood, as apposed to any other smell i have encountered. Of course,  like most young adults i was “too lazy” to explore this great phenomenon.

A study  conducted by Larsson, M, & Willander, J indicate that memories triggered by specific odors tend to be more emotional and vivid, compared to memories elicited by other sensory cues (i.e visual or verbal).When we experience certain odors we can often remember specific events or scenes from sometime in our lives. Odor evoked memories are usually from our early childhood  (before the age of 10).

In my upcoming post, i will be “unfolding” the mysteries that lie unsolved.

Reference List:

Larsson, M., & Willander, J. (2009). Autobiographical Odor Memory. Annals Of The New York Academy Of Sciences,




One comment on “Smemories -Part 1

  1. Pingback: Smemories (Part 2)- The great phenomenon | Deakin Communicating Science 2016

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This entry was posted on April 18, 2016 by in Burwood - Wednesday 12pm and tagged , , .

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