Recreate a favorite memory using candles by designing a display with special items and the perfect scent to trigger past magical moments.
Have you ever caught the whiff of a scent that transports you back to a particular place and time, almost as if you were there, experiencing that moment all over again?
This is called a “scent memory” and researchers say that this type of memory tends to be more emotionally powerful than memories that are triggered by sounds or visual cues.
Because scent, emotion, and memory are so intertwined, try making a display that uses candles to recreate a favorite memory.
This post is sponsored by Goose Creek candles, but all ideas and opinions are my own.
How to Recreate a Favorite Memory Using Candles
1. A tray or basket
Start with a tray, platter, or shallow basket. You need something to serve as the base on which to create your display.
I began with this large wooden tray that I often use to serve charcuterie. Look around your house– you probably have something that will work.
Using a tray for your memory display serves two purposes:
- It creates an intentional grouping, rather than just a bunch of knickknacks. It pulls all of the items together, so it is clear that they belong together as pieces of one larger event or memory.
- It allows you to move the whole display out of the way easily if needed. I set this memory display up on my kitchen island, and because it is grouped on a tray, I can quickly move it out of the way when I need the space for preparing and serving meals.
2. Photos, souvenirs, or memorabilia
Gather items associated with your memory. Think about things like:
- small souvenirs from a favorite trip
- postcards, letters, invitations
- baking utensils, cookie cutters
- sea shells, sand
- any small items that remind you of the special moment, place, event, or person
Don’t be afraid to stack things to get varying heights on your tray for more visual appeal.
Mexico holds a special place in my heart, because my husband and I have vacationed there several times. In fact, my husband proposed to me on the beach at sunrise in Mexico several years ago!
For this vacation memory, I added souvenirs and trinkets we’ve brought home from our many trips to Mexico, plus an engagement photo of us headed to dinner on the evening of the proposal. ❤️
3. The perfect candle
And finally, the most important part– the perfect candle!
Goose Creek candles are the perfect candle choice for this project because their candles have 3x the fragrance of other candles. If you’re trying to recreate a favorite moment enhanced by scent, this is exactly what you want!
This large 3-wick Mexico candle from the World Travelers line was ideal for this display. It has such a rich Tre Leche Cake scent, and the candle art on the jar beautifully captures the colorful architecture of Mexico.
Plus, what a fun coincidence that the candle color complemented our clothing so well!
The photo, the mementos, and the colorful candle with a scent reminiscent of a special dessert in Mexico all combine to bring back so many wonderful memories.
Honolulu Shores was the candle I chose to help revisit memories of our honeymoon in Hawaii.
I set this display up on the console table in my front entryway.
It’s a bright, sunny spot and seemed the perfect choice for this beachy display.
Again, I needed a base for my display, but this time I chose a natural woven basket that fit with my sun and sea vibe.
I added sea shells and sand dollars from our trip, plus a little decorative camera.
A clay sea turtle we brought home as a souvenir represents the special moonlit night we got to watch turtles nesting on the beach.
The prominent scents of Island Waterfruit, Coconut Milk, Pink Blooms & Palm Leaves take me right back to our 10 days soaking up all that the Hawaiian Islands have to offer.
It’s pure happiness to have this little bit of Hawaii set up in my home right now, especially when it’s currently 20 degrees in Iowa!
How to Recall a Favorite Family Memory Using Scent
Mom’s Sugar Cookies
My mom was known for her very special sugar cookies. Goose Creek has many amazing candles inspired by baked goods. The Just Baked candle was just what I needed to create this sentimental display in memory of Mom.
The sweet aroma reminds me of my mom’s kitchen with fresh cookies baking in the oven.
For this display, my vintage silver platter worked great to hold my mom’s cookie cutters, rolling pin, and a framed photo of her famous sugar cookie recipe in her handwriting.
To add a little more dimension to the tray, I used a tiny cupcake stand to elevate the candle. It creates height and fits with the baking theme, too!
This makes such a beautiful Christmas display on my kitchen counter that is one-of-a-kind, and elicits so many happy memories. With the candle lit, in a matter of moments, my kitchen smells like Mom’s again.
Letters to Santa
Not all of your candle displays have to be about recalling a past memory. Goose Creek candles can also be used to create new scent memories!
We look forward to creating so many new joyous Christmas memories this year with our sweet little granddaughter. This isn’t her first Christmas, but last year she was only a month old on Christmas, and very sick in the NICU.
When I saw this adorable Letters to Santa Goose Creek candle, I knew it would be perfect for generating a fun new memory– Baby Evie’s first letter to Santa Claus!
Since Evie isn’t old enough to talk or write her own letter yet, I asked Evie’s mom what she wanted for Christmas, and I turned it into Evie’s first letter to Santa.
In future years, I can recreate this display and add Evie’s newest Santa letter to the frame. It will be so fun to see how they change as she grows.
Do you have old letters saved in a box somewhere of your children’s letters to Santa? This is a great way to get them out where you can enjoy those memories of Christmases past!
For this new memory display, instead of a tray to hold it, I set it up on an antique writing desk in my house. In addition to the framed Santa letter and the Letters to Santa candle, I added a pen and a photo of our baby girl in her Christmas pajamas. Then I just tucked a few sugar cookies and gingerbread ornaments in the little drawers of the writing desk to add a festive, whimsical look.
It was so easy to make, and yet so cute. The candle scent of cookie dough, almond milk, oatmeal, and vanilla cream is the perfect backdrop for this new memory-in-the-making.
Goose Creek Candles
Goose Creek Candles are filled with all the good stuff you want in a candle, and none of the stuff you don’t.
- fragrances that are IFRA approved and safe for your home
- lead-free, 100% cotton wicks
- proudly made in the USA
- 3x the fragrance
- cleaner burning and long-lasting
- nearly half the cost of competitive brands!
Whether you’re creating or recreating magical moments and memories, Goose Creek can help you find just the right scent for your special sensory display.
Wishing you many wonderful memories,
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