Scent and Memory – There’s More to it Than You “Think”.

Pink Peonys

It has been proven that our sense of smell is an incredibly powerful tool for invoking memories. There have been several studies that have shown a clear link between smells and the recollection of emotional memories, and these studies were looked at together in a paper from the Oxford journal Chemical Senses. To summarize the studies they look at, the authors state:

“From these data, there is at least preliminary evidence that olfactory stimuli can cue autobiographical memories more effectively than cues from other sensory modalities. Explanations for these effects can be invoked from accepted principles in contemporary cognitive psychology.”

What’s more, the link between smell and memory goes beyond nostalgia. In another study published in the journal Science and reported on in the New York Times, researchers discovered that exposing people to scents as they studied and later, while they slept, helped them recall details better the next day. This points to the possibility that smells can not only bring back memories from long ago, but that they can help us retain information in the short term. According to the Times the “Olfactory sensing pathways in the brain lead more directly to the hippocampus than do visual and auditory ones.”


The hippocampus is a little area curled deep in our brains.  This area is a “convergence point for information arriving from all over the rest of the cortex. Neuroscientists have identified the hippocampus as crucial for creating new memories for events.”  Because of the olfactory bulb’s proximity to this memory generation and storage center, biology supports that the two, scent and memory are closely linked.

For an employer, this information speaks highly to the benefits of having aromatic flowers in the workplace. Based on everything we know about scent and memory, flowers in a work environment could not only make employees recall pleasant memories from the past, improving morale, but they could help workers retain information they learn in the short term. Aromatic flowers are an easy, natural way to make your workplace a happier, more productive environment.

Now that spring is fully in bloom, Starbright has many aromatic options available as part of our Weekly Flowers subscription service. Here are some beautiful springtime smellies that will brighten up your office and bring a smile to the face of anyone who gets a whiff of them:


Peonies are one of our favorites right now. Our beautiful Pink Peony Perfection bouquet will give your workplace a lovely rosy, citrusy scent that will enliven anyone and bring back memories of perfect May mornings. Or there’s our vibrant So Stylish bouquet, which pairs those fragrant peonies with pink roses and lilies, purple orchids, green hydrangea, and more.


With a thick smell that’s equal parts rose, vanilla, and almond, lilacs leave a lasting impression on everyone who has had the pleasure to be entranced by them. One of our most fragrant bouquets, Aromatic Spring Amore, features purple lilacs along with white amaryllis, green viburnum, hot pink garden roses, and pink ranunculus. With this collection, spring will truly be in the air in any workspace.

Sweet peas
Sweet peas

The smell of sweet pea brings one thing to mind: romance. With a sensuous smell that is used often in perfumes, this floral carries a sweet springtime aroma.  Sweet pea pairs wonderfully with other aromatics like roses, lilies, and stock, and this Isn’t It Romantic bouquet will make every day at your office feel special. 

Starbright Flower File

Freesias smell is sweet and light, while also being strong. Native to South Africa, these lovelies will only grow more pleasantly fragrant as spring warms up and moves into summer. White freesia gives some of the strongest smells, and in our Spring Rapture bouquet, these light bulbs are bundled with pink cymbidium orchid blooms, pink tulips and pink hydrangea, making for a bright reminder of perfect picnics or that great smell of the soap at your grandmother’s home.


Stock have a wonderful sweet, almost clove-like scent that will travel throughout any space and awaken the senses with thoughts of a dewy field. This bouquet, full of hot pink stock along with lavender roses, purple tulips, hot pink mokara orchids, truly lives up to its name—it’s full of life, and great for a workplace.

Starbright’s Weekly Flowers subscription service is a sure bet for making your space happier, healthier, and more productive. Whether these aromatics bring back long forgotten memories, jog something from yesterday’s meeting prep, or just provide a spot of life for the surroundings, fresh flowers will make your workplace an environment in which people want to spend time. 

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Looking for flowers in New York City? Visit our Event Gallery for inspiration. Or see our daily selection at


Author: Starbright Floral Design of NYC

We are a team of dedicated professionals all entering as one. Starbright Floral Design is the company we are all a part of. The Official Florist sometimes is a designer, or a flower buyer, a partner, the marketing department or sometimes the guy who delivered your flowers! We invite you to visit our website and stay in touch...

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