Erin Napier Said She’s Been Saving Scents Since 7th Grade to Make Her Candles

published May 27, 2022
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In a new video posted to her Instagram, Erin Napier talked about how scent has influenced her throughout her entire life and why creating candles to “honor memories” for her shop Laurel Mercantile is a dream come true that was decades in the making. In fact, Napier said that she’s been saving scent samples for this exact purpose since she was about 12 years old.

“Scent memory. Gosh, such a huge part of who I am and what I’ve been reading about lately called ‘core memories,’” Napier wrote in the caption of the video. “This is a strange skill I’ve had since childhood, the ability for photographic recall of events and people and things in my life from a scent.”

She explained in the clip, “I have really strong attachments to scents and memories and people. I can remember what my mother’s perfume smelled like in 1991 when I was six years old. I guess that’s the earliest scent memory I have.”

“I’ve been saving samples of perfumes or candles or potpurris, lotions, bubblebaths, bath salts, since seventh grade,” Napier continued. “I have hundreds and hundreds of things — bottles that have this much left in them, for this. So we can develop these fragrances. Because once a smells is gone, is it gone forever? I hope not because that’s what these candles are for. They are to honor memories.”

According to the Harvard Gazette, scent memory is something that affects a large population because scent is handled by the olfactory bulb at the front of our brain, which sends information to our central command system. Scent, specifically, goes directly to our limbic system, which includes the regions that deal with emotion and memory — biologically, scent and memory are directly linked.

To create new scent memories or relive memories through a specific smell, head over to Laurel Mercantile to get a glimpse into Napier’s past and childhood through the delicious candles she’s cooked up.