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Scent Memory: What Makes Fragrance an Experience

Scent Memory: What Makes Fragrance an Experience

By Joshua Pierce, Head of Education at Credo

Scent is a special thing.

The ability to smell is often overlooked as one of the most important of our five senses. Fragrance has the power to make you happy, relaxed, nostalgic, alert and even uncomfortable. It’s easy to forget that a sense of smell is vital to many creature’s survival… including humans at one point in time! In days past we relied on our sense of smell to detect danger (forest fires for example). Nowadays, we mostly use our noses to check out the latest and greatest clean fragrances at the local Credo!

How does scent memory work? 
In her book Essence and Alchemy: A Natural History of Perfume, the brilliant natural perfumer Mandy Aftel teaches us that our “Olfactory senses are the only place in the human body where the central nervous system comes into direct contact with the environment…. In other words, before we know we are in contact with a smell, we have already received and reacted to it.”  This is the biggest reason I’m absolutely in love with fragrance.

Because scent is literally physically infused to your brain… our brains make very intimate connections with it. Thus, (yes, I said thus) forming close relationships with a smell and locking it away into special memories forever! That’s why we can instantly be transported to another place and time with just the reminder of smell. Ain’t it romantic!?

Some very obvious examples 
of scent memory are: the smell of freshly baked bread can make you hungry. Or the scent of clove and cinnamon could immediately make you think of snowy days in a festive cabin. Personally, there are very specific fragrance combos that take me straight back to my high school days (I’m looking at you sun-ripened raspberries).

A term I always connect with is often used in the thespian world: 
sense memory. 

Fragrance is one of my favorite things to talk about because I have so many special sense memories tied to it. One of my all time favorite things to do is wear a specific fragrance each time my husband and I travel. That way, every time I smell that fragrance, I’m immediately reminded of that trip! To this day Hanami by Phlur takes me back to exploring Paris on our honeymoon.

Credo has a huge range of fabulous fragrances that you can make your own memories with! All of our fragrances are proudly compliant with 
The Credo Clean Standard and our Radical Fragrance Transparency Policy. This means you won’t be tricked with sneaky fragrance ingredients that hide under the guise of “fragrance (parfum)”. For more information on our impactful Radical Fragrance Transparency click here. 

Discover Credo's Clean Fragrances by Scent Family 
Here are some of our bestselling fragrances categorized by fragrance families: Floral, Woody, Citrus, Spicy, Fruity, Gourmand and Aquatic. 

Some think florals are only for the spring. But we love them ALL year round. Check out these two light and lovely florals from our line up.

Crescent Beach Eau de Parfum 
Abbott Crescent Beach

by Rosie Jane Leila Lou Eau de Parfum
By Rosie Jane Leila Lou

Woody fragrances are comforting and warm, like a cozy wool sweater. We love these two fragrances because they give us major calming vibes.

Phlur Sandara Eau de Parfum 
Phlur Sandara Eau de Parfum


Maison Louis Marie No.04 Bois de Balincourt Perfume Oil


Want some pep in your step? Citrus fragrances can brighten any day with a refreshing aroma of pure energy!

West Eau de Parfum 
Ellis Brooklyn West Eau de Parfum


Heretic Dirty Grapefruit
Heretic Dirty Grapefruit

Spicy fragrances can be sultry and seductive. When I smell these fragrances I think of decadent jazz clubs in New Orleans.


Flooid Fragrance
Non Gender Specific Flooid

 Sana Jardin Tiger By Her Side
Sana Jardin Tiger By Her Side

Playful, flirty notes of sumptuous fruit can be found here. These fragrances are great on days when you want to lighten things up. (Which for me seems to be every day.)

Heretic Dirty Fig

Heretic Dirty Coconut 

Everyone loves the indulgent aroma of vanilla, cocoa and honey. Gourmand fragrances hit the spot when you crave the deep, nourishing scent of culinary delights.


Dedcool Fragrance 1
Dedcool Fragrance 01 Taunt


Ellis Brooklyn BEE Eau de Parfum

Aquatic ingredients are steeped in antiquity but have burst on the scene in relatively modern times. Making them a fast favorite for folks looking for a unisex option. Fresh, sparkling and sophisticated are the descriptors that come to mind. 


Dedcool Milk 
Dedcool MILK Layering Fragrance


Sana Jardin Berber Blonde
Sana Jardin Berber Blonde

Making Scent Memories With Credo
So, check out these wonderful fragrances! Pick out a favorite and get out there and make some memories with it! Even if the scent memory is just turning heads with your new signature scent.

As always, we have our team of Clean Beauty Experts available to chat with you via our website. Just click the chat bubble in the lower right hand corner of the home screen to ask any questions you may have about how these fragrances smell. It really is the best way to shop fragrance online.


Shop All Fragrances
Shop All Fragrances