Years ago, Christopher Brosius, founder of I Hate Perfume, found a copy of one of his favorite novels that has long been out of print—a signed first edition that’s one of only 100 copies ever made. “It has a wonderful smell,” he says. “I remembered the absolute thrill and joy of finding it and that smell became associated with that moment for me.”
Smell, more than any other sense, is deeply rooted in memory. How many times have you smelled CK One cologne and felt your heart race like it did for your high school crush? Or felt comforted by the smell of bacon and pancakes? When we smell a familiar odor, it’s the emotion connected with the memory that really comes rushing back.
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“Smell doesn’t really evoke memory,” says Brosius. “It evokes the emotion we felt at the time that caused the memory to be formed in the first place.” With that in mind, he designs his perfumes to evoke a feeling he remembers fondly, rather than a specific moment.