Smell is often dismissed as insignificant compared to eyesight or hearing, but it’s more important than most realize. Aromatherapy advocates believe the power of scent directly affects the nervous systems and have a healing effect. Here are some of the more common scents.
- Eucalyptus is a bright, fresh scent that most people find refreshing. It clears your sinuses when you have a slight cold, and some feel it even heightens concentration. Bonus: it can also repel certain species of insects.
- The bewitching fragrance of lilac is stimulating, but can be a little strong. For this reason, it’s best to use it sparingly or in conjunction with other scents. In some cultures, lilac is a symbol of love.
- The fragrance of honey can help you relax and dispel nervousness. No wonder the ancient Maya considered the bee a sacred animal.
- Lavender not only banishes moths, it’s thought to have a relaxing and refreshing effect and can act as a counterbalance to nervous tension and depression. For this reason, it is often found in balms and creams, as well as in its usual aromatherapy forms, like sachets and candles.
- The fragrance of tangerines and oranges awakens memories of summer and therefore has a well-deserved reputation for chasing away winter depression. This may be why, in western cultures, it is not unusual to find a few tangerines in one’s Christmas stocking.
- When suffering from a cold, use the fragrance of peppermint to clear congestion. Its strong, exhilarating smell can also enhance your power to concentration.
- The beguiling fragrance of roses has a practical role to play in reducing pain and producing euphoria. It can be helpful in stressful and hectic situations.
- Whereas ancient uses for vanilla included aphrodisiacs and fever reduction, recent research indicates that its smell can stem a ravenous appetite for sweets.
- The fragrance of cinnamon has a warming and relaxing effect on most people.
- Cloves smell spicy and sweet, and have a mildly sedative effect.
- Patchouli has a musky aroma and is known to have aphrodisiac qualities.
- Sage has a refreshing, calming odour.
- Rosemary is energizing and promotes creativity.
- Cedar has a warm, grounding aroma and is often used as an aid to meditation.