Have you ever smelled something and been instantly transported to another time and place? Scent is powerful. It can evoke memories long forgotten. It can change your mood. It can trigger strong emotions. There is a school of thought that even believes in the power of scent to heal.
I am a firm believer in aromatherapy. That doesn’t mean that I think scent can heal a broken bone, but I do think scent can have a strong impact on our emotional well-being, which can impact our physical well-being. I use scent in my home to make it “homey”. I don’t like my house to smell like cleaners. I like it to smell like cookies, apples, flowers, or cupcakes hahaha I don’t always have the energy to bake or the money to have fresh cut flowers every day. Sometimes I will use the same scent for weeks on end and sometimes it changes every day. When I use floral scents, everyone seems happier, more loving toward each other. If I use baked good scents everyone seems to be more … umm … content, but in a different manner than the happy from florals. That one is a bit hard to describe ha ha I am the same with my perfume choices. Sometimes I want to smell like candied apples for months and sometimes my scent changes with the wind.
I also use aroma to relax. I used to get pretty rotten migraines before being treated for my fibro. Often, the Vicodin I was prescribed just wasn’t enough, so I used lavender. Lavender has a long history as a headache reliever and relaxation/sleep inducer. I used lavender pillow spray, lavender Epsom salts, lavender lotions, lavender teas, etc. If they made it out of lavender, I used it all when I had a migraine. I was desperate when that pain hit. Now that my migraines seem to be well controlled on gabapentin, I use lavender as a tool for relaxation. If I am having trouble falling asleep, I will spritz my pillow with some lavender spray and drink a hot cup of lavender and chamomile tea. If I’m stressed, I’ll use lavender Epsom salts. I don’t particularly like the smell of this herb, to be honest. It isn’t a scent I would choose as a house scent, or as a perfume. That I use it at all is a testament to how well I find it to work. And it does seem to work.
Scent can also have negative connotations. I know tone is nearly impossible to grasp with the written word, but the title of this post is a tad sarcastic. Very few people I know like the smell of mentholatum. Mentholatum smells like sickness to me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very good at what it does … unclogging stuffed airways and relaxing sore muscles. I remember my arthritic grandmother rubbing her joints with mentholated joint cream. That’s not a great memory for me, which is why I can never use the same joint cream. I associate it with sickness and pain. Even though I have a similar affliction and it might just do some good, using it would be admitting how sick I really am. And I can’t do that. I’m not in denial by any means. It’s just the association my mind has attached to that smell.
I think that’s the only negative scent memory I have. Most of mine are really, really good. Gardenia reminds me of that same grandmother. A certain fabric softener and roses remind me of summers spent with my other grandmother. She would put fresh cut roses on my bedside table every day from their rose garden. I think these scent memories can definitely impact our wellbeing, so I really try to surround myself with smells that illicit a positive emotional response. For bad or good, those tend to be baked goods smells hahahahahaha! Because I change my perfumes nearly every day, I thought I would include what I’m wearing each day. Instead of an outfit of the day, (I am NO fashionista haha, I’m a jeans and tshirt kinda girl) it would be a scent of the day.
Today’s scent is Emelia, from Tocca. I am not very good at picking out individual notes in perfumes, but this one is floral and light. Maybe a hint of orange? What are some scents that make you feel warm and fuzzy? How do you prefer your home to smell, flowery and light or sugary and sweet? What are your favorite perfumes or colognes? Hope everyone has had a happy Thursday!