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Don't you start missing your partner when you get the smell of the perfume he/she uses? Or your mom when the restaurant Biriyani smells similar to the one she used to make for you?

Well, fragrances can bring back memories of the past and the scientists tried to find out how we do that.

Neuroscientists Dr Christina Strauch and Prof Dr Denise Manahan-Vaughan from the Ruhr-Universität Bochum investigated to find out which brain area is responsible for storing odours as long-term memories.

They found that the piriform cortex, a part of the olfactory brain is involved in the process of saving the memories.

"It is known that the piriform cortex is able to temporarily store olfactory memories. We wanted to know if that applies to long-term memories as well," said Christina Strauch from the Ruhr-Universitaet-Bochum in Germany.

However, they need the instruction that the memories are to be saved. In fact, the scientists tried to find out whether the piriform cortex needs to be instructed to create a long-term memory.

They saw that the signal from a higher brain area is needed to create a long-term memory. They found the higher brain area known as the orbitofrontal cortex is responsible for the discrimination of sensory experiences.

"Our study shows that the piriform cortex is indeed able to serve as an archive for long-term memories. But it needs instruction from the orbitofrontal cortex – a higher brain area – indicating that an event is to be stored as a long-term memory," Strauch added.

The study is published in the journal Cerebral Cortex.