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Fragrance brand treats Alzheimer’s patients with ‘memory scents’

Smell a MemoryA brand of perfume has launched a range in fragrances that could help restore memories in sufferers of Alzheimer’s and dementia through the nostalgic power of smell.

Givaudan has released ‘Smell a Memory’, a series of smells that evoke emotion-based memories such as bedtime stories, mum’s cooking, prayer and school days as part of a corporate social responsibility campaign in Singapore that is to be exported elsewhere around the region.

The scents were developed in collaboration with medical staff and patients at Soo’s Nursing Home during therapy sessions.

“One of the key goals of therapy for Dementia patients is to draw them out and help them re-engage with the world and with loved ones,” said Andrew Soo, a manager at Soo’s Nursing home.

“Over time, these patients become withdrawn and lose interest in food, activities and the people around them. A tool like this, that can awaken their senses and emotions, is critical to their emotional and physical health.”

“Our sense of smell is one of our most visceral instincts. It has an instant and powerful connection to memories, especially emotional ones,” said Juhi Kalia, ECD at JWT Singapore, the agency behind the campaign. “We thought, ‘What if we can use smell to bring evoke memories and emotions in these patients?”

Some patients, who are often listless, withdrawn and uncommunicative, became excited and lively after smelling the kits, according to Givaudan.

JWT and Givaudan Singapore are now the process of arranging further trials at two of Singapore’s largest hospitals.

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