Our native hedgerows are synonymous with our Irish landscape and there blooming aplenty around Teach Spraoi. Not only are they a link to our past but they are also important ecosystems for plants and animals. When out for our natural rambles, the honeysuckle’s exquisite aroma reigns supreme. It really is worth it, to take the time and in this instant stop and smell the honeysuckle. As when plucked, it tends to lose its beautiful fragrance and we don’t wish to deprive the bees of its nectar. They say the nose knows. That couldn’t be truer for your children. Their sense of smell or olfactory sense is not just incredibly strong, but it helps them learn about people and places, and guides the development of their other senses.
Just as they recognize people and places by their scent, they also remember those scents for a while. Therefore, children may recognize something years later not by the look or sound of it, but the scent. I had a personal experience of this over 2 years ago. I came home after a long day at work one dark, damp December evening. Luckily, dinner was on the table and the stove lighting. The stove was opened to replenish it and when the scent of the wood hit me, I was immediately transported back in time, to the kitchen of Neille and Delia, two beautiful elderly neighbours that sometimes minded us. As a child I could watched for hours, Neille sitting at the open fire, weaving the most intricate lace collars whilst Delia made soda bread on the table and told us magical stories. We loved going to their home as children and the scene was so strong it was as if I was there. Then, all so quickly it evaporated but a lovely warm feeling left behind. So when out for a ramble do remember to stop and taken in all the beautiful scents of nature.
Sense of smell is closely tied to memory.