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What’s burnt toast got to do with being happy?
How smell helps us remember

Earlier this week, I popped my bread in the toaster and instead of just letting it turn a dirtier shade of white (anyone else do that?), I wandered off and let the toaster do it’s work. And hey presto, my bread was toasted, but more importantly, the delicious smell of proper toast really caught my nose that morning. Instantly, I travelled back in time to June 2018, when my partner and I took a weekend trip to Dundee. It was a work trip and we had booked into a Premier Inn, which was a relatively new building on the Quayside, beside the soon to open V&A Museum.

Physically I was buttering my toast, but mentally I was in Dundee, exploring the sights, enjoying good food, being a tourist in the sunshine, meeting new people and loving the secret bar we had found! But back to the toast… when I’m away, I love getting a good cooked breakfast and I have to say that the Premier Inn does this very well and toast is a part of this for me (sounds crazy I know, tell me I’m not the only one). So earlier this week, my not-so-burnt toast took me time travelling and I felt really happy and calm as I recalled that memory.

Scent and emotion are undeniably linked and noticing the smells around us, however mundane they may seem, helps to preserve memories for years to come.

(Nice) smells = happy memories = a state of calm and reduced stress.

I should point out too, that not all smells make us feel happy, but no matter the memory which stirs within us, it’s there for a reason and to remind us of certain moments in our life. Our sense of smell is amazing and supports us in so many ways, such as evoking memories, warning us of danger, enriching experiences, all of which affects our mood, which ultimately leads to keeping us healthy.

There was one other smell that stood out for me this week, a perfume which I tried in a supermarket out of curiosity… it was not my favourite, I should not have sprayed it on me and I felt yuck for the rest of the afternoon! Not all smells are good 😉

with love janis