The sense of scent

The sense of scent

Scent has always profoundly influenced our lives, emotions and sense of well-being. It pushes and pulls our moods, such as the potent allure of Cleopatra's rose-drenched chamber to Mark Anthony or the extraordinary Jean-Baptiste Grenouille in the iconic book “Perfume”, born with an exceptional sense of smell; poetry is scattered with words to sadness, allure, ecstatic love and sensuality.   

Scent has been present in our lives for a long time. It's extraordinary how a subtle whiff of perfume can be utterly transformative, dropping you instantly into a moment in time indelibly embedded in your deepest memories that tap into a vast library of experience so often buried. This practice has prevailed throughout history, specifically in the ancient civilisations of Egypt and Greece. The scent of incense, in particular, was used to protect and anchor initiates during rituals where they entered altered states of consciousness. As a result, your scent memory is hot wired into your DNA; remember that smell was our primary sense.  

The sense of smell would have been very potent in primitive peoples, helping detect enemies and food; this made the sense of smell essential for survival. This has largely disappeared, but the imprint of its effects on the brain and body still remains. For example, the scent of roses lowers blood pressure, whilst lavender calms, releasing feel-good hormones that make us happier; while sweet orange can reduce anxiety. A hint of basil of can increases focus. When expertly blended, a composition of harmonious fragrances can create an accord that can profoundly affect us physically and emotionally to heal and promote well-being.

We can express our love in many ways, but the magical multilayered effect of aromatherapy can be a marvellous way to share your affection, one that reaches beyond perfume - a beautiful aroma that is efficacious too. So why not do some of your own sensory cognition  and use scent to activate the desired sentiment you wish to express. An aroma initiates a memory and the memory will stir deep emotions. This emotional response elicits a powerful resonance and feeling. 


In the end, only three things
matter: how much you loved,
how gently you lived, and
how gracefully you let go of
things not meant for you.