The Summer Scents That Remind Us Of Our Favourite Holiday Destinations

Holiday dreamers in the UK have cast their vote on the scents that remind them of a specific destination around the world. With many holidaymakers postponing trips until 2021, this is leaving holiday goers to simply reminisce on their favourite scents from abroad and here at home.

We asked the public via social media which scent reminded them of a specific destination. To uncover the wide range of scents and destinations people love the most, we reviewed destinations across Europe and continents such as Asia, Africa and Oceanic.

We reviewed scent comments for 29 countries around the world, including the United Kingdom, to discover the most popular scents per country. The map below shows a breakdown of the scents from connected to particular country:

The Scents That Remind People of A Particular European Destination

The data revealed that citrus scents, beautiful beach smells and mosquito gel were most likely to remind the public of the idyllic Greek islands. In contrast, perfume scents, as well as smells of lemon, honey, fresh pasta and cappuccinos remind holiday goers of Italy.

For Germany, sausages and beer topped the list, whereas the smell of both pine and cinnamon came first for both Sweden and Austria! 

When it came to Spain, the suggestions were more fruity, with pineapple being the top scent mentioned, followed by sea air and specifically Ambre Solaire sun cream. Portugal scents were seafood driven, with crab and grilled sardines leading the pack, as well as seaweed.

With many Brits unsure on whether to book a trip abroad to their favourite destination of choice, reminiscing on the scents abroad can be a comfort for many. Speaking with Clinical Aromatherapist Geraldine McCullagh of Me-Time-Therapies, the research also looked into how scent is linked to these types of holiday memories. 

Geraldine commented:

“When we breathe in a scent such as a perfume or a food smell it triggers a reaction in the part of our brain (limbic system). The limbic system associates smells with emotions and memories. Our ancestors would have used scents to associate with feeling safe or in danger. If they had previously smelt food that was going off but still ate it, they would have stored this memory of being sick. The next time they smelt a similar smell of food going rancid, they knew not to eat it. Scents were extremely important to them to keep them alive.

“Breathing in a certain smell can stir up instant memories of the past holidays. The best example of this is when we smell sunscreen at home, it transports us back instantly to holidays in the sun. We usually associate the smell of sunscreen with images of ourselves lazing by the beach or pool and having fun. Another example for me is smelling cinnamon and transporting me back to the memory of eating Apple pie in America with friends”.

From the research carried out, sunscreen was a popular scent for holiday goers, with many remembering destinations such as Greece, Spain, Italy, Australia and Peru. 

Geraldine continued:

“In today’s society, we are using scents such as lavender oil to fragrance our bedrooms to associate with feeling relaxed. Every time we smell lavender in our bedrooms we link that to the memory of relaxing and sleep.

“Supermarkets also use memory and smell to evoke fond memories. They waft the smell of cooked chicken through the supermarket. The smells instantly connect us with a favourite Sunday lunch with the family. We then buy the cooked chicken to relive this fond memory. The smell of a dentist waiting room or hospital can trigger memories instantly of feeling anxious and afraid even if we are just accompanying a friend/family to a dentist or hospital appointment.”

So whether you’re set to stay at home in 2020, or planning on booking a holiday for 2021, take some time to reconnect with the scents that remind you of your favourite destination!

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