Common Scents

“Perfume, as we understand it, is the one thing that possesses the incredible ability to bridge the gap across time. Ex-lovers can be remembered, special events recalled and locations recollected, all in an instant, and all at the command of one single drop.”  ~Olivier Durbano

The impact of scent on the psyche is a multi-billion dollar industry of aromatherapy, scented candles, perfumes and a myriad of other means to scent our world.  And not without good cause.  The right scent can be evocative, transporting one to another place in time; it can bring a sudden sweep of sadness or of joy.

With mindfulness we pay attention to our surroundings, and our relationship to them as well as our internal selves.  But we can do more than just pay attention to our environment and the impact it has on us.  We can create an environment that is soothing, brings feelings of peace, happiness and well-being.  Tuning in to the sensory world and one’s personal response to it is yet another tool in becoming our best selves.  Awareness of the effect that a particular smell or combination of aromas is the first step in finding the ones that give us the best response.

In aromatherapy, lavender is a favorite for creating a calming frame of mind.  But not everyone responds to lavender in the same way and there are a variety of lavender-scented products with varied ingredients from the natural to the chemical copies.  It takes time and trusting your nose and your heart to find the scents that bring you to the positive feelings you are trying to cultivate.

I find the smell of newly mown grass and fresh laundry make me want to jump out of bed in the morning; perhaps those smells mean sunshine to me.  The bouquet of a good olive oil, a bunch of fresh basil, garlic just crushed, send me to the kitchen to cook, even when I am not the least bit hungry.  Our lives are filled with aromas that tease us to action, color our mood, or carry us away.  Finding the scents that bring you joy and infusing your life with them can turn a gray day sunny without giving it a single thought.

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