‘The illusion which exalts us is dearer to us than ten thousand truths.’ –Pushkin


Very little research has investigated whether smells really do evoke vivid and emotional memories, more than other sensory cues. What follows is a new, rare attempt. (…)

“It could be argued that a necessary implication of the Proust phenomenon is that odors are more effective triggers of emotional memories than other-modality triggers,” the researchers said. “Under such strong assumptions the results reported here do not confirm the Proust phenomenon. Nonetheless, our findings do extend previous research by demonstrating that odor is a stronger trigger of detailed and arousing memories than music, which has often been held to provide equally powerful triggers as odors.”

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photo { Stephanie Gonot }