Sight and sound are definitely a part of our earliest memories. They say children can remember only from the age of three and a half upward and I have to say, my first memory has to do with sticking my finger in the electric socket and feeling the jolt. I remember feeling like someone had pushed me and apparently — this is my parents’ memory of the event — I ran to the living room crying holding my index finger, utterly frightened.
But how much does scent, the smells around us, have to do with our individual memory bank? Personally, I can’t help but remember my favorite uncle Pippo every time I smell a certain brand of cigarette smoking up the air. And I go back to my childhood quickly, as soon as I step off the train in Florence and smell the city’s distinctive scent of, well how do I put it nicely, sewer… Just recently I was told why that smell is so intrinsically Florentine and it has to do with the lack of a sewage system dating back to Medici time. Apparently, every time the system fills up, giant trucks come to gather up the goodies and carry them away. There are serious studies done on it!
So it’s no surprise that the Florentines were some of the first people to use scents, ambiance fragrances and perfume to change the air around them.Read More