What sense is scent?

The sense of smell is very powerful, more dynamic than any of the other senses.

The area of the brain associated with smell is very closely connected with the limbic system, where our most subtle responses such as emotion, memory, sex-drive and intuition are influenced. The area of the brain associated with smell also connects with the organ that controls the entire hormonal system by influencing the master gland that sends impulses directly to the brain.

So we can conclude that any process that can send impulses directly to the brain can also be used to influence the physical body and the emotions. For example, the aroma of hot food, especially when flavored with herbs and spices, will stimulate the appetite by making one’s mouth water and causing the digestive juices to flow.

The sense of smell can also evoke memories. Some people only have to take the faintest whiff of the entrance hall of a hospital to be sharply transported back in time to re-live a traumatic hospital experience; they may feel shaky or even nauseous.

Other aromas conjure pleasant memories of first love, perhaps or possibly a visit to a well-loved grandmother who always smelled of lavender water.

Generally speaking, essential oils have an uplifting, and at the same time calming effect.  Unlike the modern sleeping pill, essential oils are not mere sedatives; most of them are very pleasant to smell – hence their uplifting effect. At the same time as they uplift our spirits, they have a calming effect on the nervous system, without the danger of side effects.

In aromatherapy, the axiom is: always be guided by your own aroma preference.  We are instinctively drawn to the fragrance of an essential oil that is right for our physical and emotional needs at the time. The more your experience essential oils, and the more you get to know them, the more you will see how they act on the mind, body and spirit.








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