Synaesthesia Discovery

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Sound Synaesthesia Series: 3. Hearing Smells


Smell to Sound synaesthesia was one of the first synaesthesia Thomas developed according to Thomas himself. He was only one. The first experience was his smell of honey made him hear bees.

One of the cognitive traits of synaesthetes is enhanced, or photographic memory. This is definitely the case with my children. However, they don’t have good memories in everything especially things that they are not interested in. If there are two empty lunch boxes left on the school ground, 50% of chance they belong to my two children. But they can recall events that happened on their first birthday or when they were toddlers.

Skye has a similar, but not exactly the same, synaesthetic response to the smell of honey. He hears bees working very hard. As he walking pass roses in the front yard, the smell of those roses gives him beautiful fountain water dripping sounds.

Thomas is a spice lover. He can handle Indian meals better than Skye. The aroma of Indian curry triggers off a sound of spice mixer. If he smells fish, he can hear tap water running.

One day, he was in the car when he witnessed an accident. He thought the lady died. He smelt skeleton which led to a harsh noise of a recorder piercing through his ear. He was extremely scared and upset.

After a long period of time without children losing any teeth, last Friday evening, one of Skye’s teeth fell out. Don’t have extraordinary memory about the Tooth Fairy like my children, I completely forgot to take his tooth away and leave a treat on the table for him.

When he got up Saturday morning, his whole excitement turned into horror. He came to my bed almost crying and told me that the Tooth Fairy had not come, and his tooth was still on the table! Oh dear, I was racing through my mind thinking what excuses I should come up with. “Look Skye, I did ring up the Tooth Fairy about your tooth. But as soon as she found out you had already turned 10, she said you would be her low priority from now on. She has a lot of little kids she needs to attend to first as they just start losing teeth and need more comfort.” Here came the siren (Skye’s crying noise) …

In the afternoon, Skye talked to me again about his tooth. “Mum, I think you are right. Can you ring up the Tooth Fairy and ask her not to come any more? I know she is busy. She needs to look after young children.” I felt so proud of him.

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