What is your most dominant sense? Smell is often a third, fourth or even further choice. Either we are conscious about it or not, the smells in our environment do influence us. The smell of fast-food in a car can make the driver more impulsive, while a fresh breeze in a supermarket can make the shoppers relax and walk slower (which eventually leads to more buys).
Smells can make one happy or relaxed, and there is a whole ‘science’ around the sensations triggered by certain aromas. A form of alternative medicine, aromatherapy, is based on using natural oils to enhance the psychological and physical well-being by spreading vapours of essential oils in the room.
A wide variety of floral, bark, root and fruit smells trigger just as many reactions in the human organisms. It is believed that one can stimulate brain function with certain smells, and relax the nervous system with the help of others. They can even make you feel happier or cure headaches!
- Because it is the most enjoyable relaxation technique and does not even cost you much.
- Because unlike the pills prescribed to those who want to deal with bad moods, the essential oils do not damage the organism.
Here is a list of fragrances that are easy to find and their effects:
Calm and grounding smell. The plant grows well in tropical climates and the patchouli essential oils are obtained from distilled leaves. Some studies claimed that the patchouli essential oil could serve as insect repellent. It is also a basic ingredient in the East Asian incense. Some locals use patchouli leaves to make tea whereas the countries that are further away from the plant’s homeland use it in the perfumery.
The sandalwood smell is strong and lingers in the air a good while after being vaporised. It triggers a sense of inner peace. The specialists recommend it in cases of depression and stress. The sandalwood essential oil is said to be a powerful aphrodisiac.
The orange essential oils are very refreshing. In aromatherapy it is associated with joy and is also considered anti-inflammatory. The fresh smell blends well with peppermint or rose essential oils for a double-effect.
Romantic and light fragrance. Besides invoking romantic feelings, the rose smell is assigned to people who suffer from anxiety, PTSD and hormonal imbalance.
The woody spicy aroma is used in some religions, as the smell is believed to create spiritual connection. The same essential oil is said to speed up the healing of wounds and calm down inflammations. Often recommended for those who suffer from oral or digestive problems. Scientists are even researching the frankincense for its potential effect against cancer.
Around 5 drops are enough to change the smell in the room. Choose a well-ventilated space as location for the aromatherapy sessions. It is not advised to apply the oils on skin or to inhale closely from the source. There are rare cases of allergy to essential oils but a first sign would be the headaches. Very often, essential oils are sold in 6 or 12 packs that combine different aromas so you can test their effects and choose the smells that work best for your relaxation.