Scent is a powerful thing in our lives. Whether we are smelling something lovely like flowers or freshly baked bread, or smelling something like rotten eggs or garbage, scent is powerful to our moods, our reactions, and even to our immune systems.
Just the other day I was riding my bike out towards Figueroa Mt. when I smelled the mustard plants that grow wild and thick throughout the fields. It immediately took me back to when I was a kid. I played in the mustard fields with friends next to where I lived. We would play for hours, building forts and making tunnels with the mustard plants. I would come home smelling like mustard. Every time I smell mustard, I think of that great childhood memory!
Have you ever smelled a certain type of food that brought back memories of a good time? Or have you ever smelled something that reminded you of a bad thing, like something that you ate before you got sick?
Smells are powerful in many ways. They can transport you to a different time or place. I always remember the smell of landing in Hawaii. Stepping of the plane I would take a deep breath and smell the tropical air full of sweet odors. That smell held in it the memories of fun and vacation time for me. Love that smell.
My mother loved Channel No. 5 perfume. Whenever I smell that perfume I remember my Mom. She passed away thirteen years ago, but I have a bottle of her perfume which I smell every now and then just to remind me of her.
Scents can also be healing. Aromatherapy was coined back in the 1920's by a French chemist named Renee Maurice Gattefosse. Mr. Gattefosse experimented with essential oils for healing, and found them to have better results than the chemical compounds that were being used at the time.
Today we have essential oils available to us in many different types of products. They are known to have powerful healing properties.
Lavender for instance is used for reducing stress, relaxation, sleep, sore muscles, and some say it helps depression.
Lemon or citrus oils can help to stimulate us, improve memory, help with sinus, and is said to boost our immune system. They say if you get tired while driving, smelling lemon will help to keep you awake.
Eucalyptus is a scent that helps when you have a cold or chest congestion. Rubbing it on your chest when you have a cold or flu will help to relieve those symptoms.
Peppermint can help with stomach upset and some say with menstrual cramps and p.m.s. symptoms. It can also help to keep you awake and increase mental alertness.
Citronella acts as a bug repellent along with lavender and peppermint. Bugs don't like the smell of these scents, and you won't have to use toxic chemicals to rid yourself of pesky insects while enjoying the outdoors.
There are many types of essential oils that some say can help with illness's, pain, emotional problems, and more. It is a great thing to experiment with to see if essential oils work for you. I know I have had positive experience's using them. I love lavender for feeling calm and relaxed, and peppermint to wake me up.
So remember when you are smelling, you might be making a memory, or changing your mood, or even being healed. Scents are powerful, helpful, and memorable!
- I have been a teacher of fitness and health for thirty years. In 1989 I was certified for personal training with the National Acadamy of Sports Medicine. I had a gym in Santa Barbara for eight years. Co-owned and created a spinning bike company which manufactured bikes for five years. Also I have worked with nutrition companies for twenty years. Along with many wonderful non famous people I have trained many celebrities, and members of the Royal Family. My own athletic past consists of long distance running, long distance cycling, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, rollerblading, hiking, sand running, track work, and weight training. I have authored two fitness columns in local papers, and have been writing this blog since January 2010.