The Science of Scent

Coulombe Perfume was built on the connection between scent and memory. We’ve all experienced a familiar scent reminding us of past memories - lilacs in summer or your mother’s favorite perfume as a child. The process behind this wonderful way of remembering is more scientific than you may have thought. Below is an overview of the science of scent.  

Our sense of smell is closely related to our emotions and memory. The olfactory bulb is intimately connected to our limbic system, which is the part of our brain that processes emotions and associative learning.

This connection is strengthened through conditioned responses - the first time you smell a new scent, you associate it with your surroundings. The experience, people, music or atmosphere are attached to that scent from then on. A personal example of this is lilac wafting through the air as I biked around the neighborhood as a child.

Our brain has the power to conjure up memories when triggered by scent almost instantaneously, which gives us the opportunity to remember in a unique way. We choose a photographer carefully for our wedding day because the photographs we have framed and placed in a wedding album are treasured. They are the connection to a beautiful time in our life - a day filled with love.

When you take a moment to reminisce, those photographs show you what to remember - the toasts, first dance and meaningful details. Imagine using perfume to fill in the gaps, to remember the feelings of that joyous day: the excitement before you walked down the aisle, the happiness that washed over you as you kissed your love and the contentment you felt as you laid your head on his shoulder and slowly moved about the dance floor.

Every time we connect a new scent to a momentous time in our life, we have the opportunity to remember it for years to come. Simply spritzing the perfume and closing your eyes while inhaling will bring those memories flooding back. A smile brightens your face and you remember the peaceful happiness of your wedding day. The science of scent rings true.


Photo by Matthew Land Studios