Strengthening Your Memories With Herbal Alchemy

There are times we want to remember forever. Baking cookies with our children. Walking under the stars with a significant other.

It would be nice to keep those recollections sharp and fresh in our minds. We lose so many of the most important details from our brains over the years. But what if there were a way to strengthen your recollection of positive memories of a person, a place, or an event?

Season your memories with scents artificial and earthy.

Science tells us that our sense of smell forms the strongest mental recordings. As your brain assembles your memories using clips of what you saw, heard, tasted, and felt, your files anchored to a scent will last the longest.

So why not take advantage of this synaptic hack if it’s available. Bookmark a juncture in time with a scent so that you never forget.

Cementing Memories with a Fragrance

There is a way to solidify these happy moments in our minds. Let’s learn how to tether a particular person or moment to a cataloged scent.

Each time an aroma serendipitously wafts over a fence or through a window, a vivid moment from the past replays across our imaginations.

Open windows to reclaim memories.

But those moments don’t always have to be random. We might engineer them with a little creativity and mental scrapbooking.

At our happiest waypoints, there may be an aroma organically provided. The smell of warm peanut butter cookies. A rainstorm in a pine forest. A candle fragrance from Bath and Body Works. The pungent dust of a used bookstore.

But sometimes there’s no true smell associated with a momentous or quiet occasion. So if possible, do a little planning and supply that scent yourself.

Add a fruity lip balm to an anticipated kiss. Note a soap or body gel’s residue irradiating from a lover’s skin. Then protect this signature scent fiercely. Don’t share this aroma with anyone. Uncork it only in times you truly need inspiration from a moment you’ve lost.

The Spice Rack of Recollections

Finding a different smell for every important moment in your life will be difficult, but a trip to your pantry or a market may provide a creative solution.

Open up the spice cabinet where memories linger like a fragrant reel-to-reel of emotion. Those herbal concoctions were perfected by the earth over millennia. They will serve as organic stimuli for your recollections.

Add a dash of seasoning to your memories. Gaze into a lover’s eyes and tear into a stem of thyme to send an aromatic mist into the shared atmosphere.

Release notes of basil in the light breeze enveloping you as you picnic in the park with a friend. Label that friend “Basil” if it will help you recall this moment later when you are without a loved one.

Chemistry Lesson.

Create an aromatic stew for the brain to bag and store away. And then any meal blending these flavors will invoke the person or moment, their best qualities stored in a biologic binary.

Conjure them out of the dust and darkness as a fully-formed 4-D version. Lingering as long as the aroma remains.

Your scent-marked files will carry the most accurate data possible. Less corrupted by time and tape-fade. Catalog your memories like an herbarium of happiness, melancholy, and things we’d like to forget but are obligated to preserve.

The Taste of Memories

Family meals and dinner dates often form vivid memories with no effort at all. There is a reason food triggers such powerful echoes of times past.


It’s not just sniffing that sends you into a reverie spiral. Taste buds are the synaptic neighbor of the sensory cells in the nose.

When you chew food, scent molecules flow over your olfactory neurons. That parsley and black pepper you enjoy over noodles, your recollection of the taste, it’s largely based on smell. It gets cataloged that way. Your nose helps you identify tastes and that function can be harnessed for memory retrieval.

Try plugging up your nose as you eat. Your tastebuds won’t work as well. Your memories may not either. Employ those aromatic dishes as time-markers.

Watermark those savory and sweet moments for later consumption. Don’t surrender a moment of that time around a table to amnesia. Remember the smell of the room as you drew in air to laugh. Store it away in a safe harbor in your mind.

Set an Alarm for Your Fleeting Memories

How often should you be reminded? You’ll have to decide. Use your nose and your sense of taste to leave yourself little alarms. Set them to trigger when you need them most. At scheduled moments or random intervals throughout the year.

Someone on the sidewalk will use that certain type of shampoo that transports you to a rainy night in a tent. A happenstance journey into an Italian Restaurant will trigger the scent memory tied to a certain concentration of garlic in butter.

Don’t hit snooze on your memory prompts.

Set up those fragrant reminders to go off every month or perhaps once every decade. Leave them as a surprise or engineer a smell-based reunion in your imagination after a particularly tough day or when you miss someone the most.

Everyone has tried to return to a moment in time. When a first date was surprised by the synchronicity of your favorite book choice. When you sat in a lawn chair next to your hilarious aunt who smelled of cigarette smoke. Populate your senses, all of them, to bind a moment to your cerebellum. 

  • Gaze deeply into your dog’s brown eyes and take in a deep breath of particulate dander. Ruminate until one day you can call up that companion again and remember the life they devoted to you. 
  • Reminisce on the fragrance of hair blowing across your face in an ocean breeze.
  • Remember the smell of dampness from one rainy night in a tent.

Preserving Our Fragrant Memories for Playback

Use this memory method as a type of séance. Conjure someone who is long since passed or perhaps someone who has banished you to faraway regions. Or evoke someone who is very close by, but who, emotionally, remains as distant as the icy, frayed edges of the known universe.

You might find yourself reminded of a better version of you. Maybe our lost selves can be rescued from where they are marooned. Let a redolent scent take you back to discover what’s possible.

Voldemort was an evil wizard with a few good ideas about binding yourself to a certain moment in time. His memory tricks are legendary. Click on the spooky picture below to discover how Voldemort put a charm on certain objects so that he could never be forgotten. Just be careful not to harm muggles in the process.

A wand over a book of spells.
Horcrux Stew

Published by scottsentell20

Lifelong writer and coffee shop journaling champion. Content creator. Deep-Thought Diver. Hikes with dogs to learn their secrets to life. Likes the silence found on mountaintops and the peace that collects along the banks of small streams. I read old sci-fi novels to understand current events. Scott has roots in Alaska, Spokane, and North Carolina.

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