Monday, December 15, 2014

Not Upset: Amortentia

Last week we talked about Patronuses, because hey—we all have questions that need to be answered, and as directed, we’ll be examining the next item as found with this picture:

Let the adventure continue!

Topic #2: How does Amortentia smell to you?

According to my research, the smell of Amortentia is composed of the things you find most attractive, even if you don’t realize it.

Psychologically, this is a fascinating concept, because if this potion smells different to everyone then it isn’t composed of the smells itself, but—and this is just a guess—some kind of neurotransmitter that elicits the memory of your favorite things.

This also explains why the potion only infatuates its victims: it stimulates one’s memories, and while you can become obsessed and even addicted to the emotional highs the potion brings, it creates an attachment to a feeling—not another person.

It’s like putting cocaine on Brussels’ sprouts, basically: as soon as you take away the addictive drug you don’t want to eat the thing you never learned to love in the first place.

[Editor’s Note: I don’t do cocaine (promise) but I did some research and if you were curious, you can get high on cocaine by eating it, but I don’t know whether or not that impacts its addictiveness. Also, I don’t think you should do cocaine, it was just a comparison.]

Now, the scents in question don’t have to relate completely to your ideal romantic love: Hermione, for example, smells Ron’s hair (cuz she likes him), but she also smells spearmint toothpaste—her parents are dentists, and although she isn’t attracted to them, they have nurtured her and loved her and she may un/consciously associate the smell of toothpaste with being loved.

So, if I don’t realize I’m attracted to a smell then it’s obviously not something I can list here, but I imagine there are a few things I’d probably pick out in my own brew of amortentia:

  • books—because… okay, do I really need to explain?
  • clean laundry—it smells so good!
  • must—one time I found this empty cabin in the woods and it smelled musty and I was immediately comfortable because it reminded me of my grandmother’s attic and my favorite stuffed animal, although when I put it like that my experience sounds sketchy.
  • bacon and popcorn—a weird combination, I know, but they’re two smells I’ll always associate with my family.

Flickr Credit: Yanni Raftakis

I’m satisfied with that answer. However, I think the real question is this: how can you smell all these things at the same time and not get grossed out?

The world may never know.

Do you have any ideas about what a love potion might smell like to you? Care to share?

(Remember, you’re still stuck with two more weeks of this. Check back next Monday for more. ☺ )


  1. Hmmm thats an interesting one. I'd probably smell books as well, also horses and cut/dry grass. Some of my best memories have the smell of cut/dry grass attached to them.
    Cooking onions would be another - they always remind me of my mum cooking.

    1. Cut/Dry grass is an interesting one, especially because I can't think of what that smell is very well. Those are some neat and persona smells, though... :D Good choices!

  2. haha I never associated the toothpaste with her parents! Books is a good one. I'd probably have that too, used book store smell. I'd smell chlorine, because it reminds me of going on vacation to a hotel with a pool as a kid.

    It's magic, so maybe they alternate.

    1. Funny things you pick up when you spend too much time thinking about Harry Potter. ;) Chlorine is definitely an interesting one, but I can see how it would suit you.

      True, magic explains everything.

  3. I read your last post on the airport and LOVED it but unfortunately, mobile Blogger and airport wifi aren't conducive to comments. Fortunately, I managed to remember to drop by for the second, equally amazing post! I think I'd smell books, and the smell of hot metal of the computer when it's oveheated, LB agar, and that plasticky smell of latex gloves. Great post!

    1. Haha, the airport is an interesting and crazy place and hey, the important thing is that you enjoyed it. Those are some crazy awesome smells, especially the computer being overheated because for some reason I like that smell as well. XD The very-science theme suits you, though. :)


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