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Pillow Talk: Remembering Scent

Scent is one of the strongest senses tied to memory, and recent studies indicate scent can be used to enhance learning and memory. While it won't trigger memory any more often than sight or sound will, ladies, scent does trigger memories that are more emotional.

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Your sense of smell is strongest around the time of ovulation; it's also stronger than a man's sense of smell. Over the course of your cycle, it might be interesting to see if there's a noticeable difference in how strongly your partner smells to you. In last week's poll, 31% of you said you'd give up your sense of smell for a year if you had to. But people who lose their sense of smell, through accident or illness, also describe a decrease in emotional richness and, eventually, less emotional intensity toward life.

Next time you're snuggled up against your partner, spend a little more time noticing and appreciating the peculiar power that scent holds over us.

Click here for a study that reveals how women (and mice) choose mates with immune-system genes different from their own. How do we know the genes are different? That's right: The way a man smells.

Join The Conversation
grl-in-the-world grl-in-the-world 10 years
Popgoestheworld, I had a similar experience when I first started to suffer from Celiac's disease (gluten allergy). I could smell everything so intensely that I was actually getting sick and feeling nauseous from normal smells. It drove my boyfriend nuts and I think he thought I was going crazy, but once I cut wheat out of my diet my sense of smell went back to normal. It's odd how something you wouldn't imagine had anything to do with sense of smell could actually effect it so much!
lickety-split lickety-split 10 years
my grandmother died when i was 12. she wore a very destinctive perfume with gardenia in it, which as a kid i never really thought about. but years later i was in a mall and the woman next to me was wearing it. i literally almost passed out from the smell; here was my grandmother! it felt so powerful and brought back all of these other memories of her. in some ways it was kind of nice, almost like being with her again. but then i missed her all over and even more because it was "fresh" again.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 10 years
When I first started taking the pill, I had a crazy experience where my sense of smell intensified to the point where I could smell the piece of lettuce on my sandwich 3 feet away from me. And later that night I couldn't sleep because my pillow smelled so thick and dusty I could hardly breathe. It was making me sick! I found out that this sort of hyper-sensitivity is commmon in pregnant women, and is often what causes their "morning" sickness.
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