Memory is a strange thing

In the category of the power of memory…

I just picked up a copy of a guilty pleasure from Second Spin on the cheap: Electric Youth by Debbie Gibson. I was getting ready to rip it just a few minutes ago, and something really weird happened. My eyes rested on the title of the opening track (”Who Loves Ya Baby?”), and in the space of about 2 seconds, my mind went from the title to a mental sound clip of the chorus to the smell of the ink used to print the liner notes for my old cassette copy (which was stolen along with the rest of my collection over 13 years ago).

I’ve heard before that smell is the sense most strongly tied to memory, but I’ve never had it go “backwards” like that before. For whatever reason, that tape’s liner notes had a strong and distinct scent that none of my other tapes had, so I smelled it every time I opened up the case (which was REALLY often about 8th or 9th grade or so). I guess the association in my brain was stronger than I thought. :)