When I was in my early 20’s I was walking through a crowd one day when I suddenly felt terror and ran! My friend tried to follow me, we finally found each other and of course she wanted to know what had just happened. I told her that my ex was here and she went looking for him. He was no where to be found and I was too frightened to move from my hiding place. When she asked if I’d seen him it dawned upon me, no, I had smelt him.
That was my first conscious experience of aroma triggering memory and the power of it shocked me. Memories are in our cellular structure and when they come up we can experience the situation again. In my case which I just described, I was surprised that I had responded in such fear. I hadn’t recalled that degree of fear when I was with him. Over the days other memories came up, of being beaten and raped and I was surprised at how I had suppressed these experiences and told everyone at the time ‘no, he doesn’t hit me’, even when the bruises said otherwise.
This is what happens when trauma is experienced, particularly at a young age. We tend to suppress the enormity of it because it’s overwhelming for our mind to comprehend at the time. This is how the mind protects itself, however, the memory gets pushed down into the body and stores in the cellular structure.
It could be anything that triggers memory release; touch, sound, visual exercises, similar experience, aroma. It was a combination of visceral massage and visual exercises that brought up repressed memories for me many years ago.
Just the other day I met a man who told me that my perfume reminded him of ConFest. I have never been and immediately had images of incense, camp sites etc in my mind and I decided in that moment that I didn’t like my perfume being associated with that. Wow! That all happened quickly and I realised that I was judging something that had nothing to do with me. This man was recalling an experience triggered by a scent and that’s all.
Scent smells different on different people and it all depends on our own personal chemistry. When someone has a memory triggered in response to smelling something on another person, this suggests that that person has the same, or very similar, body chemistry as was in the original memory.
There are many variations determining our body chemistry; diet, life style, age etc and so to encounter someone with the same precise scent might not be common.
The other day I was stressed and out on a long drive. I became aware of the scent of fresh coffee and wondered where it was coming from. I’d been so distracted I’d forgotten I had a bag of coffee beans in the car. The aroma was lovely, I find it warm and soothing and that helped me to relax. The scent of fresh coffee doesn’t elicit these types of memories for me. It’s the relaxing properties of the beans that I’m able to enjoy from inhalation. This is very different to cellular memory.
If you’ve been following me on FB or Expansions you probably know that I use oils to explore and pull out cellular memory. This can be traumatic, and I have had a few surprises, though I know the techniques to assist me. I feel like an explorer delving deep within and that’s exactly what I use oils for.
Not all cellular memory is traumatic. Some are neutral and others are positive experiences. I’ve seen people being transported to wonderful memories resulting from aroma.
This sounds so simple, yet aromas are complicated, as are we.
Have you ever experienced aroma triggering a memory?
Did you gain more information from recalling the memory?
What aromas do you like and do you know why?