It’s not a technique that you would immediately think of to memorize a lot of material before that big test or presentation, but researchers have shown that you can use scent to boost memory.
An interesting article in Yahoo Voices states that note-taking and highlighting (both common practices) do little to help encode memory.
Use Scent to Boost Memory
What is most important about this article is the following paragraph describing how you can use scent to boost memory.
So how does all of this research translate to your test taking abilities or your presentation skills? Well the scent you use really doesn’t matter. You just have to consistently use the same scent every time you study or practice. It also has to be a scent that you can take with you the day of the test or presentation. That leaves out candles or plug-in room fresheners. Aromatherapy essential oils work very well. Lemon essential oil is especially good for focus and attention. Peppermint essential oil helps with alertness. Rosemary essential oil assists with mental function. A few drops of the essential oil on a tissue will scent the study area for hours. Just keep the tissue in the study area and the scent will encode with the memory of the material you are studying. On test day take a tissue with the essential oil on it to the test area and the scent will improve memory performance. It will help the retrieval process because it will act as a cue for your brain. The research supports the results. What a pleasant way to start improving your grade point average or delivering complex presentations.
You can read the entire article here.
So it appears that if you follow the suggestions in the article and use scent to boost memory, it will yield great results. I’m looking forward to trying it the next time I give a presentation.
Have you ever tried to use scent to boost memory? Share your experiences with us in the comment section.