The paper reviews research concerning the role of odors as memory tasks context and the possibility of improving retrieval from memory by using odors. First, the notion of 'Proust effect' is introduced, in its large and narrow sense. Next experimental research on the role of odors as memory cues, associated with the to be remembered material or simply present in the room, is presented. In such experiments arbitrary odors are used most often, what may markedly influence the results. Then research concerning odors as retrieval cues for authentic autobiographical memories are the focus of interest. The paper ends with an outline of problems in the investigation of the role of odors for the effectiveness of memory processes.