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When I was in sixth grade I had a Kodak Brownie Fiesta camera. In addition to the joy of taking photographs with the camera, I got a special kick out of the smell of used flashbulbs. A sort of spicy, burnt smell that I really enjoyed.

Fast forward to recent times when we picked up some Bath & Body Works Deep Cleansing Hand Soap scented with Kitchen Herb.

Damn if the scent of this hand soap wasn't identical to the smell of spent flash bulbs from my Brownie Fiesta camera! How does this happen?


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 8th, 2006 05:11 pm (UTC)
LOL! For some reason, I think that's really wonderful.
Jul. 8th, 2006 05:33 pm (UTC)
Wonderful, yes . . . and strange!
Jul. 8th, 2006 07:27 pm (UTC)
I want some of that soap. Just for the novelty of it. What a great story.
Jul. 8th, 2006 10:16 pm (UTC)
Indeed, this is a must-have product for anyone who loves the smell of used Brownie Fiesta flashbulbs. Well worth the 3/$10 price!
Jul. 8th, 2006 10:11 pm (UTC)
Funny how those things happen, isn't it? Back when I was working in theater tech, we used some duct tape to hold together the back of a flood light, and it got somewhat melted/toasted from the heat of the lamp. And damn if it didn't smell *exactly* like a roasting marshmallow!

What's so amazing to me is how odors always evoke the most emotionally intense memories for me. After that, I find that music has the greatest emotional impact (you know, that song from a date that just makes you weak-kneed with nostalgia and misery...). But more than anything else, a smell that I can't even name or identify can suddenly take me back years and make me think I'm somewhere else entirely.

Odd, isn't it?
Jul. 9th, 2006 01:27 am (UTC)
The ability of odors to evoke emotionally charged memories is called the Proust phenomenon (yes, *the* Proust). The olfactory system is closely linked to the amygdala, the site of emotional memories. See http://impulse.schc.sc.edu/articles/2004_01_01_Hughes.pdf .

This is a topic that has long fascinated me. Whereas olfaction is usually ignored in most introductory psychology courses, I spend a full class on the topic.
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 9th, 2006 11:28 pm (UTC)
it can be confusing to have a childhood memory pop up when tasting beer

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )