Our five senses allow us to experience life to the fullest.  Every day, we hear, see, taste, touch, and smell the world. 

Hearing a beautiful piece of music can bring us to tears.  Seeing a mesmerizing sunset can lift our spirits. Tasting a homemade meal canbring us comfort. Feeling the embrace of a loved one or the touch of a soft blanket can help us destress. And smelling a potent aroma can uplift us, bring back pleasant memories, warn us of danger, help us relax, and so much more. 

Often underrated, our sense of smell is a powerful tool that significantly influences the way we experience life. Think about it. How do you feel when you get a whiff of your mom’s perfume when she gives you a hug? What happens when you visit your childhood home or your grandparents’ house, breathing in familiar smells that bring back happy memories? Or what happens when you roll your garbage can out to the street and inhale the unpleasant aroma excreting from the can? Our sense of smell allows us to vividly take in the various elements of the earth firsthand. Whether you’re breathing in the mouth-watering aroma of cookies baking in the oven, the scent of your significant other when you borrow his or her jacket, or the nostalgic smells that come from sitting around a campfire with family or friends, there’s no denying that aroma is powerful. The power of aroma cantransform your entire day. The potent aromas of essential oils have made them useful for centuries and we still use them today for hundreds of benefits.  

Aromatic use is one of three primary methods for essential oilapplication. It allows us to experience essential oils through the air. That’s one application method. A second popular application method is topical application. This consists of applying essential oils topically—or on the skin.  Lastly, the third method is internal usage, which consists of ingesting or consuming essential oils directly.  While topical and internal application require you to come in direct contact with the essential oil (on the skin and through ingestion), aromatic application merely requires it to pass through the nose. Aromatic use is typically done by breathing in an essential oil directly or placing it in a cold air essential oil diffuser. Aromatic use is my favorite. It’s incredibly easy and allows us to start enjoying the aroma and benefits of an essential oil almost immediately. 

So how does aroma, including the aroma of essential oils, create a response?  Simply put the scent travels through the nose to the olfactory system where it is processed. It then travels through the olfactory nerve to the limbic system of the brain where emotions and memories are stored. In the limbic system, the scent triggers responses in the brain based on memories and experiences. 

When you’re seeking a specific response such as calming or uplifting, remember that the benefits of essential oils are determined by their chemical structure.   

Here’s a general guide to assist you in choosing your essential oils.   

  • Mints: Commonly knownto be uplifting and energizing due to a high concentration of ketones.   
  • Florals: Typically composed of monoterpene alcohols, which provide calming characteristics. Lavender, Jasmine, Geranium, Ylang Ylang   
  • Tree, herbs, and grasses: Primarily include sesquiterpines, oxides and esters, which help promote soothing, grounding emotions and feelings of renewal. Frankincense, lemongrass, cedarwood, sandalwood, basil, rosemary   
  • Citrus: Contain chemical properties like beta-pinene, monoterpenes, and limonene, which containsignificant uplifting characteristics. Lemon, Grapefruit, Wild Orange, Lime   
  • Spices: Phenols provide warming properties. Cassia, Cinnamon  

Inhale and Breathe Happy!  I do!!!

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