Why does smell trigger such strong emotion? Let's see how smell works. Smells get routed through your olfactory bulb, which is the smell-analyzing part of your brain. It is closely connected the the parts of the brain that handle memory and emotion, the amygdala and hippocampus. Smell is the only sense that runs through these parts of the brain. Your sight, sound and touch do not pass through these parts of the brain which could be why our sense of smell is so vividly successful in triggering memories and emotions.