Our Top 5 Fragrance Flashbacks

This year National Fragrance Day is focusing on #ScentMemories, we have listed the top 5 fragrance flashbacks. The way fragrance makes someone feel is at the core of Grace Cole.

It may be a specific perfume, the smell of blossoms from a childhood memory or a fruity smell reminiscent of a previous home. Whatever smell is evoked, it is wonderful that a few small molecules being inhaled can trigger such vivid/positive thoughts. Why does this happen? After a smell enters the nose, it travels through a nerve which helps the brain process smells. This specific nerve is part of the emotional center of the brain, which is directly linked to an area of the brain which plays a role in emotional memories. This close relationship is one of the reasons odours spark strong nostalgia.


1. Rose: Evidence suggests that memories triggered by an odour (the rose fragrance) triggered more vivid memories than the verbal prompt (the word rose) (Ref1)

Grace Cole Moisturising Body Lotion in White Rose & Lotus Flower

2. Lavender: Exposure to lavender scent can decrease the heart rate, linking these memories to calmer times

Grace Cole Relaxing Foam Bath in Lavender & Camomile

3. Vanilla: Seen by some as bland, Vanilla is in fact known for elevating levels of happiness and relaxation meaning the smell of a tasty cake baking in the oven will spring back to mind with joy (Ref2)

Grace Cole Indulgent Body Care Duo in Warm Vanilla & Sandalwood

4. Citrus: Citrus scents promote concentration within the brain and citrus fruits have antiviral properties and the smells are often linked to cleaning or bright and sharp memories

Grace Cole Refreshing Body Mist in Grapefruit, Lime and Mint

5. Woody: The musky smell is often linked to previous relationships. This is likely because a woman’s sensitivity to musk is 1,000 times stronger than a man’s. So, when a woman uses a musk based scent it gives them a huge boost in outward confidence to the opposite sex

Grace Cole Soothing Bath & Shower Gel in Wild Fig & Cedar

Smell is the most sensitive of the senses and 75% of emotions are triggered by smell which is linked to emotion and memory – showing the importance of choosing the right fragrance when you buy a product!

(Ref1) Arshamian A, Iannilli E, Gerber JC, Willander J, Persson J, Seo H-S, Hummel T, & Larsson M. The functional neuroanatomy of odor evoked autobiographical memories cued by odours and words. Neuropsychologia 51 (2013), 123-131.

(Ref2) http://chemse.oxfordjournals.org/content/30/suppl_1/i248.full