Consider, for example, the aroma of your favorite food. The delicious scent will stimulate your appetite by making your mouth water and at the same time cause your digestive juices to flow. If the aroma is associated with a happy occasion then memory comes into play as well, adding to the pleasurable rush.
Pleasing aromas, along with enjoyments such as eating, falling in love, listening to music and looking at beautiful things, cause the release of certain “happiness chemicals” which form part of a family of opium-like substances broadly labeled enkephalins and endorphins. Such release is found in chocolate and rosewater in the form of phenlethylamine. These “happiness” substances are also known to help strengthen the immune system and are mood enhancing.
It has been proven that if we dislike an aroma we are able to block its effect on the central nervous system. This supports the case for using the oils we like best, especially for stress-related problems.
Experience has also shown that we are instinctively drawn to the essential oil that is right for our needs at a given time. As our state of mind alters, so may our preference.
- Jacqui Mac Neill
Scent choice is thought to be largely influenced by body odor which, in turn, is related to diet as well as ethnic and genetic influences, emotions, ill health, the pill and other drugs, as well as hormonal changes caused by puberty, pregnancy and menopause. You will be drawn to what you need the most.
This explains why the same perfumes smell different on each person and why our choice varies when we select essential oils. As we age, our bodies secrete different pheromones, subliminal scent-chemicals, and as a result a favorite scent in youth may seem far less attractive in maturity.
Aroma conditioning or fashion may also play a part in directing choice. Unfortunately this can be counter-productive when it inhibits personal needs and hinders the beneficial effects of essential oils. Essential oils are very different from synthetic perfumes and, for people not accustomed to them, may seem strange at first. However, once regularly used, the “strangeness” wears off, revealing naturally beautiful aromas.
Just like your other senses, your sense of smell has an enormous impact on your overall state of being. A healthy olfactory centre can pick up over 10,000 different odors. However, if it is subjected to the same odor for even a short while, the olfactory cells become “saturated”, exhausted and cease to detect odor, even though we may, from time to time, experience a fleeting reminder of its presence. This is why customers can’t smell a diffused scent after about 15 or 20 minutes.
Blending extends the ‘life’ of a diffused scent, as all blends are medley of top, middle, and base notes. As these each evaporate at different speeds, the scent subtly changes over time and the blend can be detected for a longer time.
Aromatherapy can be an enjoyable, therapeutic and beneficial way to change or re-structure bad odors, increase your immune system, fight bacteria, help with muscular aches and pains, headaches, and skin disorders (just to name a few), while at the same time just making you happier.