Friday, May 15, 2015

Scents and sounds

I've always considered myself a visual learner and expected most of my memories to be tied to visual stimuli as well. While I do have a good memory for faces, I've found recently that scents and sounds tend to trigger much stronger emotional responses for me.

Lately I've been reading about aromatherapy and essential oils. While I'm dubious as to the claims of potential medical help oils could provide, I think that the emotional response by smelling something pleasant or specific (placebo effects!) is very real. I bought an inexpensive kit (affiliate link) from a brand that sells on Amazon to start myself off. While none of the oils on their own make me think of anything in particular, I am starting to get a sense for what scents go well with others and might make a nice blend for a candle or roll-on application mixed with a carrier oil (like fractionated coconut oil). It should be a fun little project, even if I don't stick with it. I've accepted that I'm a hobby hopper.

Scents that trigger nostalgia or pleasant feelings for me

  • freshly cut grass
  • rain on hot asphalt
  • this body product line that my grandmother has had in her bathroom since forever, the name has some 3-digit number in it; the scent is a combination of sharply floral yet masculine
  • Old Spice deodorant, probably because my dad has always worn it
I don't have particular memories associated with most nostalgic sound triggers, but there are some that I find oddly soothing.
  • plows in the wintertime, but only at night when it's really quiet other than potentially wind
  • lawnmowers, specifically make me think of the week or two before the fall semester started my sophomore year in college. I was there early for job training and the riding lawnmowers were out much earlier that I'd like, but it's still a nice memory
  • humidifiers
  • a shower running in another room
  • the sound of water running through pipes for a shower. When I was little, I would sit in the closet of my sister's and my bedroom (now my parents' room) and listen to the sound of the water running through the pipes/the shower on the other side of the wall while anyone was in there getting clean.
  • fan noise is SO soothing to me. I love having a fan or air purifier running at night. I think it's because it helps drown out any sudden noises that may occur outside so I don't get woken up by them
I guess a lot of the sounds I like are kind of variants on white noise! A distant lawnmower is something I could sleep to, as are all the others.

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