How to Start a Scent Journal

How to Start a Scent Journal

October 17, 2017

You’ve probably heard of dream journals, but have you ever heard of a scent journal? For centuries, artists, writers, and sommeliers have used scent journals to hone their specific craft. While Aera enables you to uniquely experience immersive home scenting day after day, we encourage you to exercise your most powerful sense outside your home, as well. The simple exercise of journaling is a great way to better appreciate the smells around you and experience the depth of memories that come to mind with each new connection.

Every day, we encounter thousands of distinct smells, but it’s hard to appreciate this diversity unless you focus on them and take note. Some ideas to get you started:

1. Right now, wherever you are, what do you smell? Try to sort through the different layers of notes around you by focusing on one accent at a time. 

2. Take a deep breath when you open your front door in the morning and jot down a sentence or two on what smells differently from the day before.

3. Start paying attention to what smells surround you in your workplace, your neighborhood, your backyard…

Activities like these will help widen your catalogue of distinctly recognized smells and join you more closely with the world around you.

4. As you journal, try connecting specific smells with their sources to interlink your multi-sensory experience. For example, try to track down the most fragrant flowers or tree on your street. 

Visual artists, while not directly applying smell to their work, often keep scent journals because they recognize how all our senses are connected. A field smelling faintly of honey and terracotta looks very different from a field smelling of morning dew.

5. Try experimenting not only with what you’re smelling, but how you write about it, discovering new metaphors and comparisons. A smell might be thick or thin, it might feel dry in your mouth, it might smell like a specific memory from your past.

Paying attention to scents through journaling forces you to develop your nose and expands your ability to describe scents. Pinpoint which smells you enjoy, and which you'd like to avoid in the future! Authors occasionally use scent journaling because descriptions of smell are extremely important in providing an immersive reading experience.

There’s no right or wrong way to describe a smell since the senses a single fragrance can evoke are entirely personal. Make the most of this freedom and get creative!

Most importantly, though, the simple exercise of paying attention to and writing down the smells around you throughout a given day can help preserve your memories of that day for years to come. Studies have shown that of all our senses, smell is most connected to our memories and emotions. In fact, we are over one-hundred times more likely to remember something we smell over something we see, hear, taste, or feel.

6. Whenever you find yourself in a moment you’d like to remember, focus on the smells all around you, and you’ll find your memory of the experience itself deepens.

7. On the other hand, when anything you smell raises a memory from your past, take a moment to write it down and embrace the magic of this powerful sense!

We’d love to hear what you discover keeping a scent journal. Do any of these suggestions inspire an 'aha!' moment? Keep in touch with us at AeraForHome on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. And be sure to include descriptions of your favorite Aera fragrances in your scent journaling!