Can You Smell That? How Scents Effect You
From Ancient Times to Modern Day
Scent has been well documented as having a significant effect on emotion, memory and task performance. Aromatherapy is rooted in ancient Egypt, India, Greece and Rome. Modern aromatherapy was developed in the 1920s by the French chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, who did many experiments in aromatherapy on soldiers during WWI.
A study by the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago showed aromas to have a measurable impact on erotic response. Certain scents increased arousal levels in men. Mostly, a mixed lavender and pumpkin pie smell, which proved more stimulation than traditionally sensuous scents such as musk or oriental spice. These findings could possibly lead to impotence treatments.
I found this study extremely interesting since I have always heard the old cliché, "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach". This makes me wonder if there may have been more truth to this statement than anyone ever realized at the time.
How Scents Effect Us
Below is a very small list of some scents that have effects and how they affect us.
- Chamomile: Calming and soothing. Eases anger and anxiety.
- Clary Sage: Relaxing, euphoric. Eases anxiety, tension and stress.
- Eucalyptus: Fresh, cooling and invigorating. Promotes alertness.
- Jasmine: Alleviates anxiety and depression.
- Lavender: Calming. Helps relieve some forms of pain.
- Lemon: Refreshing and energizing. Eases tension. Heightens mental clarity.
- Madarin: Relaxing and calming. Relieves insomnia.
- Neroli/Orange Blossom: Relieves stress, anxiety and insomnia.
- Peppermint: Refreshing and stimulating. Increases alertness, relieves pain, indigestion, nausea and headaches.
- Rosemary: A stimulant that promotes mental clarity and alertness.
- Sandalwood: Warm, sensual aroma. Euphoric and seductive.
- Ylang-yland: Alleviates anger, anxiety and stress.
Personal Experiences With Scents
As many of you may know, I deal first hand with these scents as I am a distributor of an alternative vegetable blend of gourmet candle. From the list above, I have used all the scents except for the Ylang-ylang. We have yet to produce this one so I am emailing corporate today with this suggestion!
I have found these effects to be very true when using these scents. When our company created our scent Peppermint Truffle, I was suffering from severe sinus problems where I would lose sleep at night because my head was so stuffy I couldn't breathe. When I received my order, I took a couple of the votives and grated them and put them in the potpourri pot beside my bed that night. My head stayed clear and I slept sound all night.
My husband loves the scent of Black Cherry while relaxing after a long route in the truck. It helps ease the tension and helps him relax and sleep better. I have also found that a mixture of coconut and mango scent seems to turn a normal evening of wtching t.v. into a sensual evening as well. I believe through personal use that this is due to the tropical scent mixture, giving the sense of lying on a beach with the smell of suntan oil in the air. Who couldn't go for that?
I believe the effects of scent are similar to the effects of music on the human mind and body. A good scent in the air is as comforting to the nose as the good sound of music is to the ear. At this point , I can not imagine my life without either. Just give me a clean burning candle (or melt), a hot tub of water and some Kenny G and I am in fantasy land! I would suggest, however that you beware of harmful chemicals produced by some candles. Just compare and choose the healthiest for you. This comparison picture, while not meant to be an advertisement is a comparison to a name brand gourmet candle on the right to one of ours, on the left, after burning. Just make sure that you find a healthy alternative when shopping.
© 2008 Bonnie N. Ramsey
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