The Power Of Scent Memory

For a 32-year-old, my memory is monstrous. My wondrous hubby re-explains and cues me numerous times a day. And he generally, with forbearance, re-listens to my inane narratives of growing up etc. without much objection.

However, if I catch a sniff of the exact proportion of Old English, moth balls, day-old bacon grease, banana bread, and aging nogahide, I am carried to Mama Jewel and Papa’s house. When I bring-up an example like this, most people will argue, ‘oh yeah, all grandparent homes smell like that.’ One nearly universal case of this is the clear-cut ‘Grandmother Bathroom odour,’ which fuses the more ‘practical’ smells with lavender, and the entire line of AVON products! But other that, I can make the argument for being able to tell from a particle or two, which grandparent’s dwelling, and I’ll likely recall some memories to boot. I bet you can too – it’s amazing.

If you can learn to manipulate the fragrances you engulf yourself with, you can recollect and reminisce (maybe take on something fresh?), from countless events in your life – EVEN if your memory is risky like mine.

When I walk through my neighborhood and smell the fresh-cut grass and orange blossoms, I laugh, remembering laying spread-eagle in the grassy middle of the University quad, mid-day, having drained too many pitchers of margheritas with my cohort. Similarly, Nag-Champa incense will always remind me of the little 1950s bungalow I shared with my little sister; and the time we had a house party and sprinkled a trail of glitter from the street, through the house, and out the back – there’s probably still glitter in that carpet.

I also don’t know a damn thing about cars, but I’ll happily hang-out in a mechanic’s garage because in my memory, motor oil and break fluid take me back to being fifteen years old, and learning how to ‘three-foot clutch,’ so my boyfriend’s ’69 Mustang wouldn’t die. But perhaps the most powerful of these is the sweet smell that somehow originates from the top of my sweet little preschooler’s head, and can draw-up countless moments from her birth onward. What IS that smell?? It’s like Valium!

So in this brief article, I am centering on the control that scents have to call forth a person’s memories, but in future articles I will add to this, and delve into using scents to: conjure different emotions, direct meditations in a forward motion, share aromatheraputic time with a therapist, guided groups, or others, etc.

So as you turn to your local herbal store or website, don’t be intimated if you don’t know the names of the herbs in incense blends, or if you’re scared you won’t like the ways they smell and taste. Let your memories guide you first. Does something remind you of your grandfather’s pipe tobacco? Does the smell of burning one stick of incense seem to cleanse the room and make you feel ‘bright,’ or does another aroma draw you back into a soft cushion to contemplate the cosmos?

That’s fantastic! Once you start drawing herbs, herbal incenses, essential oils, and other components of the natural, organic world into your life, you may find that these positive, olfactory connections can aid you in ways you’d never anticipate.

So if you are naive to the ‘undeveloped powers of fragrances,’ welcome!

Ramsi K. McGhee has been studying scents for nearly two decades. She regularly reviews incense over at Spice Review.

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Health is one of the most important things in life. If you are healthy, the rest of the tangibles such as wealth, reputation, recognition etc, can come and go over time. But one of the major factors in a person’s health is the amount of time and quality of sleep that they experience. Not being able to get enough sleep during the day can restrict your body from completing its circle of relaxation and repair. When the body is unable to do all that, it can grow tired and be subject to a number of different illnesses.

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Stonehaven Dental is the leading provider of comfortable dentistry

There are many people who don’t like to go to the dentist – it’s a pretty common theme. For some, that dislike is actual fear or anxiety. For this segment of the population, going to the dentist can be cause for panic attacks or avoiding it altogether which usually leads to significant oral problems.

Stonehaven Dental is a leading provider of quality dental health services. They not only provide cutting edge dental health services, they go the extra mile to make their patients completely comfortable.

One solution to help mitigate these issues is sedation dentistry. And finding a dental practice nowadays that offers sedation dentistry is pretty easy. Dentists have come to understand more about the fears and anxiety that plague some, and they want to help. Sedation is safe and generally very effective. In addition to those who have fear or anxiety issues, others might have a highly sensitive gag reflex, a limited jaw opening, or have a really hard time getting numb. There could be a combination of these things, or a patient could need surgery or extensive restoration.

Even for children, sedation could be the best way to go – especially if they show any intolerance at all, it’s best to go with sedation to make their early experiences good ones. Dentists are onboard with understanding that the most important thing is to provide quality care and get the work done, whether easy or difficult. If the patient is relaxed and cooperative, the work goes faster and works to everyone’s advantage.

There are several different levels of sedation available with today’s dentistry. The lowest level is nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas”, and this method works wonderfully well for most patients for small-to-medium procedures. Oral medications like valium or triazolam go a level or two deeper and have a side benefit from low-level amnesia where the patient has little or no recollection of the procedure.

The next level is IV sedation which works for all but the most difficult and invasive procedures. IV sedation is more easily controlled and predictable and has a really good safety record with improved amnesic effect. The highest level of sedation is general anesthesia which would be used in a hospital or surgical center. Some patients will be “out” with higher levels of gas, and of course are completely out with IV sedation while retaining protective reflexes. You might have to work with your dentist to figure out what works best.

When it comes to insurance coverage, most will find that procedures for impacted wisdom teeth or children under the age of 5 are covered. Other procedures are typically denied, but it is possible to get partial coverage depending on your provider. Your dentist can help you find out what is available in the way of financial assistance when it comes to sedation. Your best bet is to look for dentists in Provo that believe in single-appointment-dentistry. Any procedures that can be combined in a single visit, like a root canal and crown or wisdom-tooth extraction and needed restoration, should be done all at the same time.

If you are looking for dentists in Provo that specializes in helping you feel at east in the chair, Stonehaven Dental is the natural choice. For more information about these Provo dentists, please visit

Stonehaven Dental is the leading provider of top quality dental health services in Provo, UT. Call and schedule your appointment today.

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