Burning Man and the Science of Scented Memories

Share your pictures and video. Tell us about the sights, sounds, and scents, as well as the rumors and truths found at Burning Man.

Burning Man and the Science of Scented Memories

Postby Bexx » Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:50 pm

This has always been something I've been interested in - ever since I was a kid. To this day I still take something with a nice smell, a lotion, perfume, something along that line. For me I've discovered that if I use that one smell on a special trip - when I come home and use it, it instantly triggers fond memories!

Anyhoo - last year I took a scented lotion and body spray from Bath and Body. It wasn't over powering.. just something nice. I use the same stuff @ home every once in a while and get such VIVID flashbacks!! I'm "almost" convinced that the Playa actually smelled like my lotion.. hehehe.. It's Dark Kiss by bath and Body if anyone was curious.

I was just wondering if anyone else does that? and if not you should try it!! pick a scent that you like but hardly use or something new. A nice scented air-freshener in your tent would work too I bet. - Then when you get home wait a week and then truck it out!
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Postby TomServo » Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:57 pm

"Poison" reminds me of the late 80's. PlayDo reminds me of the 70's..and wanting to eat it! The air conditioner in my truck reminds me of the playa, every time I turn it on.
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Postby flatlander13 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:33 am

My first Burn in 2001 I really noticed the smell of people out on the playa……..some bad, but most really yummy.

Here are a list of smells that give me playa flashbacks:

Wood Smoke

Port-o-Potty Blue Water Smell

Red Bull

Cigarette Smoke

Certain Perfume Smells…….I have no idea the names

I smell any of these smells and I’m back on the playa……no matter where I am.
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Re: Burning Man and the Science of Scented Memories

Postby Ugly Dougly » Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:22 am

Bexx wrote:... it instantly triggers fond memories!


+1

Pick something weird that you wouldn't normally encounter.
Ylang ylang reminds me of my first Flambé Lounge. Somebody had dumped a shitload in the middle of the floor.
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Postby burner von braun » Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:23 pm

I remember hearing a report about scientific studies conducted revealing how the sense of smell was very effective at triggering memories. You are on to something there bexx.

I love my truck, everytime I climb into it (every week or so), I am at least briefly reminded of the Playa!
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Postby Trishntek » Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:53 pm

You who know us can attest to the fact we are into sensual activities. Olfactory stimulation falls within our capable hands in a rather unique manner. With my violet wands, I can ionize any scent you put forth to be a marvelous sinus full of bouquet in its purest form.

I've worn patchouli since the '60's and now mix it with cocoa butter. I've actually been stopped and asked THREE SEPARATE TIMES in vaious public locations by strangers, "Can I ask you a personal question?" Me, "Sure." Stranger, "What is that cologne you're wearing?"

I work with many females in many different facilities all over SoCal. At every facility there are women to this day who approach me, put their hand on my CHEST and lean close to get a wifffffff. Now,,,, if I did that to a woman,,,,,, but I'm a slut without shame,,,,,, I enjoy it. A scheduler was showing me something awhile back and honest to goodness,,,,, my scent took her breath away! Kind of a GASSSSP! And then shivers with an exclamation of, "God that smells good!"

It's the cocoa/ chocolate connection, I'm sure.
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Postby lucky420 » Thu Apr 28, 2011 3:01 pm

Now I want to smell you...
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Postby ygmir » Thu Apr 28, 2011 3:29 pm

I've not found cocoa butter smelling like chocolate?........or, am I wrong, again?

I keep about 3 dozen different essential oils here, for ceremony and healing and such.
maybe I should try the patchouli/cocoa butter?

'course here, it may well attract the wrong type of attention............
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Postby lucky420 » Thu Apr 28, 2011 3:47 pm

yep cocoa butter smells like chocolate (at least to me). Hersheys used to make a cocoa butter bar for tanning back in the day, when laying in the sun for hours was cool.
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Postby Trishntek » Thu Apr 28, 2011 3:48 pm

Good patchouli oil is thick and dark with age. I just use a drop in the palm of my hand with ohhhhhh maybe 5cc of cocoa butter. All I know is it must smell like some kinda candy.
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Postby ygmir » Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:22 pm

yeah, it's reasonable that I just can't smell the chocolate.......or, don't remember.
Now, I gotta go open some and see.
My sense of smell, is not so good.

I know, though, I have patchouli

Hey, TnT:
if I wear the same fragrance, maybe people will think me as irresistible as yourself.

It could happen..........c'mon, quit laughing...........
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Postby Trishntek » Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:10 pm

ygmir wrote:yeah, it's reasonable that I just can't smell the chocolate.......or, don't remember.
Now, I gotta go open some and see.
My sense of smell, is not so good.

I know, though, I have patchouli

Hey, TnT:
if I wear the same fragrance, maybe people will think me as irresistible as yourself.

It could happen..........c'mon, quit laughing...........


Awww be careful now! We just might attract each other!
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Postby ygmir » Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:38 pm

Trishntek wrote:
ygmir wrote:yeah, it's reasonable that I just can't smell the chocolate.......or, don't remember.
Now, I gotta go open some and see.
My sense of smell, is not so good.

I know, though, I have patchouli

Hey, TnT:
if I wear the same fragrance, maybe people will think me as irresistible as yourself.

It could happen..........c'mon, quit laughing...........


Awww be careful now! We just might attract each other!


seems there's a law of magnetism or physics that deals with that possibility.
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Postby peterakabob » Thu Apr 28, 2011 6:20 pm

I have chunks of playa dust in my car I can bag up and sell you for your smelling pleasure! :twisted:
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Postby mudpuppy000 » Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:28 pm

A few weeks ago I had to use a port a potty and as soon as I stepped in I had playa flashbacks, and got a big smile on my face. Too funny. :)
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Postby Bexx » Sat Apr 30, 2011 12:13 am

I love the smell of patchouli! I actually had a Halloween air freshener kinda like the pine trees that was patchouli scented. I used it in my tent last year!! and when I busted out my tent a while ago to clean it out - it still smelt like it. Aaaah memories!
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Postby robbidobbs » Tue May 03, 2011 2:10 pm

mudpuppy000 wrote:A few weeks ago I had to use a port a potty and as soon as I stepped in I had playa flashbacks, and got a big smile on my face. Too funny. :)


When I approach the first pottie-bank I am to put signs on, I go inside to pee.
It's exactly then that I feel I'm in my element.

Ah, blue schoo. It's comforting and empowering at the same time.
YMMV

Gonzo notes: the blue schoo isn't for brushing teeth in anymore.

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Re: Burning Man and the Science of Scented Memories

Postby havoc » Wed May 04, 2011 2:34 pm

Bexx wrote:Anyhoo - last year I took a scented lotion and body spray from Bath and Body. It wasn't over powering.. just something nice. I use the same stuff @ home every once in a while and get such VIVID flashbacks!! I'm "almost" convinced that the Playa actually smelled like my lotion.. hehehe.. It's Dark Kiss by bath and Body if anyone was curious.


lol, i have a bottle of dark kiss!

i had the exact same experience, bexx. i used a light body spray (dove grapefruit stuff) on the playa last year, and now EVERY TIME i use it, i am on the playa.

it's amazing. i have a super strong sense of smell so i kind of thought maybe it was just me. it's cool that other people have this experience too. :)
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Re: Burning Man and the Science of Scented Memories

Postby Mojori » Wed May 11, 2011 1:12 am

Bexx wrote:This has always been something I've been interested in - ever since I was a kid. To this day I still take something with a nice smell, a lotion, perfume, something along that line. For me I've discovered that if I use that one smell on a special trip - when I come home and use it, it instantly triggers fond memories!

. . .


I think that is a great idea. It seems to me that the olfactory centers of the brain are particularly well connected to the memory centers.

Here are some of my Burning Man "memory scenters":

playa dust
the copal incense goop I burn there
petrichor - the smell dry earth makes immediately after rain begins to fall on it.

Music has been the main memory trigger for my Burning Man experiences up to now, for example:

Seat of Cosmic Dance Part 2 by Genetic DruGs
Hide and Seek by Imogen Heap and Tiesto
Telesterion S.F. by Ambient Temple of Imagination

This year I will try a new scent to wear at Burning Man per your suggestion. Why not?
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