Dr. Rachel Herz explains the science of smell and tells us why certain scents evoke such strong memories

Treat your senses to a little positive nostalgia this fall with the comforting smell of Vanilla Pumpkin, whether in or after your shower with our shower gel and body butter, or on the go with our hand cream.


What are your earliest memories of fall? Is it the sound of crisp leaves crunching under your feet? The feeling of cold hands in warm pockets? The taste of freshly baked pumpkin pie? Whatever it is, each memory is closely tied to a scent that can trigger the same feelings and emotions we had as a child — something we’re celebrating this fall with our new Vanilla Pumpkin collection. We spoke to Dr. Rachel Herz, one of the world’s leading authorities on the psychology behind the sense of smell, to find out why scents and memories are so closely linked.


“Smell specifically has the capacity to trigger memories that are much more emotional and evocative than any of our other sources of memory experiences,” says Herz. “The area of the brain that immediately processes smell is directly linked to the part of the brain where memories, associations and emotions are processed.” What this means, of course, is that everyone smells things differently and the feelings we get when we breathe in a scent are tied to our own unique experiences.


Fall is all about change. The leaves are turning golden, the kids are back at school and the holiday season is just around the corner. We watch the leaves change, cozy up by the fireplace and come together to celebrate. “You have these different modes of activity that have to do with the season changing from summer to fall,” explains Herz, “but the general atmosphere, psychologically, is of a drawing-in. That’s one of the reasons why turning to things that are emotionally uplifting can be especially powerful at this time of the year; we feel like we want to be comforted from the outside in”.


So how exactly do you bottle that feeling of warmth and comfort? Our new Vanilla Pumpkin collection uses scent to evoke feelings of nostalgia — whatever they might be. “Pumpkin is able to make people feel a special kind of association to this general time of year,” explains Herz. “When we smell the flavors of pumpkin spice, we think of it in connection with a sweet taste. And sweetness is innately positive. It has a strong positive effect on our state of being.”


Inspired by fresh-baked goodies, fall into autumn with our new deliciously scented Vanilla Pumpkin Collection! Scented with quintessential pumpkin fragrance, vanilla from Madagascar and hints of tonka bean, hazelnut, and maple syrup.