Reminiscence Therapy - Memory and Smell

Memories are centred on many factors in a person’s life and one of these that is sometimes overlooked, is the memory of smell. Many older people have memories of happy events that are associated with smells.

Memories that may be long forgotten but can be revived by talking about them, making a scrapbook or just having the opportunity to smell them again. You can still buy some of the ‘smells’ but pictures that will revive memories can be downloaded easily from the Internet.

The smell of the roast dinner on a Sunday, that could be smelt from the bottom of the garden, the smell of Dad cutting the grass, the smell from a fire and the smell of the chicken run as the eggs were collected.

The smell of the first bottle of perfume either given or bought. Perfumes such as Tweed, Chanel No 5, Californian Poppy and Evening in Paris. The memory of Max Factor Creme Puff, Ponds Vanishing Cream, the smell of Brylcream.

The smell when opening up a draw or a wardrobe and meeting the smell of the moth balls in there preserving the clothes.Monday, laundry day, the smell of Tide or Omo and the sight of the Blue Bag.

The smell of soaps such as Lifebuoy, Pears or Camay.Lavender polish for the furniture and Brasso for the weekly cleaning of the brass.

Mother’s hair being permed with a Twink perm kit that made eating food in the same house almost impossible to do, the Twink lotion reeking of ammonia. After the perm, each week the Amami wave lotion would preserve the curls.

No central heating, but paraffin heaters were in nearly every home with their pungent smell filling the room.

Blocked nose, headache, the smelling salts bottle was kept in every cupboard. Cut knee, the iodine bottle would make it better!The seasonal smells of making the Christmas cake, pudding and mince pies. The autumn smell of pickling and summer smells of jam making.

More information about Reminiscence Therapy on this page: Reminiscence Therapy for Older People

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