Sense of smell and how it works

Sense of smell and how it works

Olfactory region connected to emotion and memory

The olfactory region of the brain, where smells are processed, is connected to many other brain regions, such as those involved in emotion (the amygdala), memory (the hippocampus) and multisensory regions (the orbitofrontal cortex). In effect, through its connections, our olfactory system forms a kind of ‘super-highway’ to memories or emotions. Odour messages are interpreted by all these different parts of the brain to evoke a response in the form of thoughts, feelings and actions.

Scientists are increasingly aware of ways that human senses can be harnessed to manage our own well-being – so fragrance can now be designed to stimulate the best emotional experience possible; the perfect relaxing fragrance for a warm soak in the bath or for laundering sheets to encourage a good night’s sleep.

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