It was 20th-century writer Marcel Proust who coined the term “involuntary memory”, the curious phenomenon of a memory triggered by a smell, a taste, or even a sound.
In À la recherche du temps perdu (Remembrance of Things Past), Proust famously describes his sensory déjà vu, which he experienced after tasting the tea-soaked crumbs of a madeleine.
Just one taste of the sweet, buttery French cake mingled with lime-blossom tea was all it took for childhood memories to come flooding back.
"Immediately the old grey house upon the street rose up like a stage set… the house, the town, the square where I was sent before lunch, the streets along which I used to run errands, the country roads we took… in that moment… the whole of Combray and of its surroundings… sprang into being, town and gardens alike, all from my cup of tea.”
Whether it’s a tea-soaked madeleine, your mother’s perfume or even the faint whiff of tobacco on a leather jacket, a “Proustian moment” is when a particular scent conjures up a certain experience, time or a place.
Appellation is inspired by this experience – the recollection of scent memories. Our name is drawn from the French verb “appeler”, “to call (by a name)”, and the Latin “Appellare”, which means “to summon”.