Finding Balance: Scents of Smell

I think everyone has had that moment when they are just out and about in their normal routine somewhere and suddenly they catch a scent that instantly transports their brain to another time and place. Our sense of smell, which is the most sensitive of all our senses, can trigger memories we may not even realize we still had living in the deepest parts of our brain. For instance, the smell of a certain perfume reminds me of my great-grandmother. The smell of crayons reminds me of when I was a kid. The smell of fresh laundry takes me back to when I worked somewhere that I had to get to by passing a laundromat. You get the picture.

Because scents produce a neural response, it makes sense that certain scents can help us to feel energized, calm, focused, etc. This is aptly called aromatherapy. Using essential oils to stimulate our brain can balance our emotions and help to heal the body from pain and illness. Note that when using essential oils, they need to be diffused in water with an oil diffuser for inhalation or in a carrier oil (almond, argan, avocado, etc.) or lotion for using on the skin, as they are very potent. Also note that essential oils are natural, whereas fragrance oils contain chemicals. It is always better to use essential oils for aromatherapy. Also, start off small with a drop or two – make sure you aren’t allergic to an oil before using it on the entire body or breathing in too much.

Below is a quick guide to some scents that can help your day to day.

  • Lavender: Calming/relaxing. Use when stressed, in need of relaxation or when you are having difficulty sleeping.
    Lemon Balm: Soothing. This is great for people who tend to get anxious or depressed, as it helps ease overwhelming emotions.
  • Rose: Healing. Calms grief and sadness and is also used to soothe pains associated with the menstrual cycle and menopause.
  • Clary Sage: Congestion relief. Soothes sore throats and nasal congestion and helps with asthma-related issues and coughs.
  • Peppermint/Spearmint: Amazing for headache relief or overheating, as it has cooling properties. Also helps with nausea symptoms.
  • Fennel: Excellent when you need to focus on a task. This is great during study time or when you need to get something done.
  • Jasmine: Also great for those who are dealing with depression. This sweet scent is also an aphrodisiac.
  • Thyme: Good for muscle aches and combating bacterial infections such as the cold or flu. Also a great remedy for insect bites.
  • Grapefruit: Energizing. Use this when you need a good boost of energy in the morning or before exercise.
  • Ginger: Excellent for easing nausea symptoms or other stomach issues. Improves circulation.
  • Frankincense: A warm and spicy scent, great for uplifting the spirit and providing a sense of grounding. Also strengthens the immune system.

The pure light in me honors and respects the pure light in each of you. Namaste.

– Jennifer RUSSO