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Love Potions: La Fleur Cremeuse
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Xiphoid
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Love Potions: La Fleur Cremeuse
12-06-2009 11:32 AM

It's not news that smells and memory are linked, but I like the fact that they are now getting some interesting research done on the subject. I wouldn't be surprised if those activations are strong enough to spark memories even under conditions where those memories have been lost such as with various types of dementia.

I've already shared the following on the LP forum but I thought I'd add it here as well as it to me illustrates really beautifully how strong the association between smell and memories can be....

" I just wanted to share this moment of someting that happend to me at work the other day.

I was supposed to meet up with a colleauge for lunch but he never showed so I headed down to A&E to see what was holding him up. When I get there there's an elderly man who had been brought in by his son as he was very poorly. This elderly man was very confused (had no idea where he was), partly due to being septic but he probably also had underlying dementia. He was so very frail and weak from age & being poorly, but since he was also very confused and terrified he was putting up an impressive fight with the staff who were desperately trying to find IV access to give him fluids & antibiotics.

I approach my colleauge to ask him what the commotion was all about and if I could maybe run & get him a sandwich as it looked like he'd be unlikely to be going to lunch that day. I walk up to the patients bed to talk to my colleauge and almost instantaneously the elderly man stopped fighting the nurses. He looks up at me, grabs my hand, pulls it close to his face. Then he curls up on his side my hand still next to his face, and start stroking his face like a child would do with a comfort blankie. Everyone just stops what they are doing and stares at me & the little old man like they can't believe what they are seeing... I wasn't quite sure what to do so I look at my colleauge and shrug my shoulders, and nod towards the IV line which is quickly put in place without the elderly man protesting at all.

Now, I would absolutely love to take credit for this, and tell you this is all due to me being so good at what I do & having a comforting personality that just radiates empathy and understanding....but I can't. This poorly elderly man was comforted (and subsequently successfully treated for his infection) not because of me, but because I wore my Le Fleur Cremeuse that day. No magical calming phero's, just my Le Fleur Cremeuse.

Why do I say that? Well, when I turned around not knowing quite how to respond to the old man stroking my hand against his cheek I see his son standing there. A bit embarrassed I say to him that confusion can make people do strange things sometimes. The son looks at me, with teary eyes and then says the following; "No, he's not being strange, he's remembering...he thinks you're his wife...mum always smelled of roses"
12-06-2009 11:32 AM
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mark-in-dallas
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RE: Love Potions: La Fleur Cremeuse
12-06-2009 2:27 PM

Beautiful story Xiphoid and very moving! Thanks for sharing it here.

The older I get the less threatening a life sentence sounds

Sympathy for the Devil only results in victimized angels.
12-06-2009 2:27 PM
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Bella
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RE: Love Potions: La Fleur Cremeuse
12-06-2009 3:19 PM

That was a lovely story, Xiph. Thank you! [Image: smile.gif]


Bella
12-06-2009 3:19 PM
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Xiphoid
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RE: Love Potions: La Fleur Cremeuse
12-07-2009 1:13 PM

Thanks guys Smile

It's one of my favourite work moments... Even though I care about all my patients there are always some that stand out & that leave you with memories like this one. It's moments like that when you really feel that all the hard work & years of studying not only makes sense & were totally worth it.
12-07-2009 1:13 PM
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