The aroma of recollection: Olfaction, nostalgia, and the shaping of the sensuous self

Dennis D. Waskul, Phillip Vannini, Janelle Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examines olfactory perception and nostalgic memories focusing on sense acts and the sensuous self as a dialectic of ritual sensations and sense-making rituals. Our data are drawn from a convenience sample of twenty-three participants who re.ected on their olfactory experiences through the use of research journals. Our analysis illustrates how olfactory perceptions and memories are necessarily produced by active "idealizing activity" that is emergent in sensuous rituals that help maintain self continuity over time. Our focus on olfaction - at the expense of a more multisensory approach focusing on, say, taste and olfaction - contributes to a very small body of sociological (but also a larger body of anthropological) literature on this important but much neglected medium of perception.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-22
Number of pages18
JournalSenses and Society
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2009

Keywords

  • Nostalgia
  • Olfaction
  • Olfactory perception
  • Somatic work

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