Could it be that in our hectic nonstop world there is yet another way that we can help ourselves achieve an immediate sense of calm? For instance, within our sensory family, our sense of smell is often relegated further down our list of importance for anything other than spraying on our favorite cologne or perfume. We can walk up to the fragrance counters in a department store and inhale the latest scent and immediately tell if it will work for us. Yet with the advances in aromatherapy we can also transport our homes and even offices into places that are welcoming and productive, even memory enhancing, since our olfactory senses are amazing messengers.
When we walk into our homes we can instantly smell us – that ‘uniquely us’ smell means we our back in our own comfort zone. We are home, safe and ready to kick back for a few moments and reflect on the day. When we go into other people’s homes we also can immediately detect smells. Sometimes those smells are inviting and at other times a bit off-putting. Everyone and everything has its own trace of olfactory recognition.
The interesting thing about a smell or odor is that it is the only information sent to the limbic system, a part of the brain responsible for memory and emotion. Further, due to our own genetic makeup and memories our individual reaction to the same smell can differ significantly! Certain smells can be intoxicating to some and repulsive to others. Researchers from Rockefeller University have recently discovered that in addition to our personal reaction to smells we can detect more than one trillion of them!
What smells cause you to smile when you inhale them and remember where this smell first originated in your life. For me, the smell of roses takes me back to my grandmother’s garden. The smell of those beautiful roses coupled with the taste of the red raspberries that grew along side them was a treat. Today when I smell roses I inhale deeply and remember. Each of us can experience a surge of deeply rooted emotional response ranging from intense pleasure to even fright or pain from smell-induced memories from our past. Scientists term this phenomenon “olfactory-evoked recall.”
The understanding that an odor can retrieve not only a memory but a particular emotional state can open up all sorts of possibilities for us in life. It seems that the companies who produce wall plugs, candles, body and room sprays as well as colognes and perfumes have the potential to hold the corner market for both our memories and emotions now and even more so in the future. Aromatherapy is alive and well and truly real. When we walk into certain stores (frequently high end) and a certain smell envelopes us it can be inviting, a bit exciting and relaxing all at the same time. That folks has the potential power to redesign the world of sales. As we continue our never ending quest to find ways to be super productive at work and yet be able to relax into a home environment that is inviting, peaceful and centering all at the same time may only be a candle, wall plug or spray of cologne away!
Have a great few days and in the meantime don’t forget to stop and smell the roses.