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  1. #1

    Default Olfactory Conditioning: When Memory Spoils Everything

    Have you ever tried to wear a perfume when you were sick, or when you ate something that didn't do you good? I found that, in these occasions, it is fatal to wear a perfume. You will connect the smell from the fragrance to the suffering from your sickness, and whenever you wear that perfume again, your mind will make associations, so you will feel bad again. It is a kind of conditioning: If you give a shock to a monkey every time he grabs a banana, he will make associations, and will feel bad if he touches a banana, even when there is no shock.

    So, it is not a good idea to wear perfume when you are not feeling well. You may have to get rid of the perfume afterwards. This happened to me once, in 1997, when I was in Europe. I had to get rid of a new bottle of Ted Lapidus, because it reminded me of the sufferings of a flu.

    Has this ever hapenned to you?

    .
    Last edited by LuciusVorenus; 14th April 2008 at 03:36 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Olfactory Conditioning: When Memory Spoils Everything

    I'm chronically ill with Crohn's Disease and my symptoms come about at random times. I have no control over them. I wear perfume none the less and I don't associate the ones I wear with my illness. Otherwise, I'd never wear perfume because I'm constantly in varying degrees of pain.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Olfactory Conditioning: When Memory Spoils Everything

    Quote Originally Posted by SirSlarty View Post
    I'm chronically ill with Crohn's Disease and my symptoms come about at random times. I have no control over them. I wear perfume none the less and I don't associate the ones I wear with my illness. Otherwise, I'd never wear perfume because I'm constantly in varying degrees of pain.
    I am like SirSlarty.

    While I frequently select fragrances to go with the mood of the day, I don't associate any of them with specific past events or illnesses. I don't have any problem separating the fragrance from the day.

    I understand what you are going through SirSlarty, I have a very close relative who is suffering from UC which is similar.
    Last edited by TwoRoads; 14th April 2008 at 04:39 AM.
    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler, long I stood and looked down one as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, ...... I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. - Robert Frost

  4. #4

    Default Re: Olfactory Conditioning: When Memory Spoils Everything

    I had way too many late nights and bad mornings with Polo Blue, as well as memories of my ex girlfriend, so every time I wore it I, for lack of a better word, felt like shit. So I gave it away to one of my friends
    Looking for: Andy Tauer - L'air du Desert Morocain & Incense Extreme

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    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/249...76#post1801576

  5. #5

    Default Re: Olfactory Conditioning: When Memory Spoils Everything

    Absolutely! I really liked Mont Blanc's Presence until once I wore it one day that I was sick with a bad cold. Now, I can't stand it, and I ended up giving it away. It literally made me sick the next time I wore it. Oh well, I know not to do that one again!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Olfactory Conditioning: When Memory Spoils Everything

    I rarely get sick, but last year I had the flu for the first time in 7 or 8 years. The morning the symptoms hit, I had sprayed on Versace Man. Now I find that fragrance revolting: "shocks my monkey" every time. Had to give my bottle away to my brother-in-law.

    Also, I can make fragrance associations with people I don't care for, due to their unpleasant nature. I used to like the smell of Monsieur Musk, until a certain individual began wearing it. Now I don't care for that fragrance anymore, either.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Olfactory Conditioning: When Memory Spoils Everything

    I have more of a problem when I associate a perfume with undesired smells - Eau d'Hadrien = citrus scented household cleaner etc. I actually consciously wear perfumes when I'm ill (except with headaches and respiratory issues), because they make me feel better. Trumper Limes is a regular antidepressant, and sandalwoods help me relax. But there is of course a difference between consciously bringing them into a situation and experiencing something awful while happening to wear a certain fragrance. I suppose if I got run over by a car while wearing a certain perfume it might easily turn into Eau de Trauma (God forbid it be Bvlgari Black - the smell of burning rubber to boot).
    My Wardrobe
    II est de forts parfums pour qui toute matière/Est poreuse. On dirait qu'ils pénètrent le verre.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Olfactory Conditioning: When Memory Spoils Everything

    There's a note in Dunhill Edition that reminds me of a perfume an old girlfriend wore, which I didn't like and told her not to wear. I don't dislike Dunhill Edition, but the note is rather distracting. Had I not acquired it in a trade I would not have bought it. I've just been too lazy to swap it away.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Olfactory Conditioning: When Memory Spoils Everything

    You are talking about conditioning as a way to build a negative correlation between a certain scent and a mood, thus the scent brings about the memory of the mood and is no longer tolerable. Having one bad experience and calling yourself conditioned to remember an illness with every whiff of that scent is crazy. I've had bad experiences with scents where I am sick, but I can't say that a single day with a fever and sniffles is going to keep me away from something I love wearing.

    I understand that crohns is more severe and chronic, thus it comes back over and over, but who would wear the same scent every time they are sick? I would have to throw all of my bottles away if I were to hate the smell of any particular fragrance that I wore when sick. As TwoRoads stated, I would also rather wear something based on my mood, and the weather of course. No one day is going to affect that.

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