Project 365 – Day 1 – A Sense of Smell

Happy New Year!

What is our sense of smell? It is the sense that gives us information about the aromatic nature of our environment; provides complex information about the food we eat, the people and animals we interact with and can help save our lives. It is still not fully understood, however.

In simple terms when we inhale through out nose the aromatic particles trigger a response from specialized nerve endings which carry signals to the brain where the information is interpreted. This area in the brain is called the limbic system and is very closely associated with the memory, hence the strong responses that can be evoked by smell/scent. This understanding is used by supermarkets and suggested by estate agents trying to sell houses. Certain aromas encourage us to feel relaxed and happy which some parties hope will lead to us spending money.

But our sense of smell can “adapt”. Once the brain has worked out that there is no threat it “stops” registering the smell at that time.  We no longer need to be alert so our brain moves on to processing other information.

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An example – I live in a rural village in Devon. My “neighbours” include a number of fields of sheep and cattle. When we first moved here my daughter regularly commented on the associated aromas. For me it was not an issue, I had grown up opposite a dairy farm. For her it was all new. Very soon she hardly noticed. We don’t notice anymore. When we lived in the city we moved from we would sometimes experience the smell from the refinery across the water from us – quite some distance. When that was wafting over us we never forgot it. In fact I can recall the smell quite easily and it was not pleasant.

As an aromatherapist I am very blessed to be able to indulge my sense of smell with a huge variety of scents in almost endless combinations depending on how I feel guided or just how I feel. It would be wonderful to have an app that would allow me to share my blends and incenses with your through my computer. Instead I shall just have to do my best to describe them and the effect they can/do have.

So many to choose from …………

I will start tomorrow with one of my personal favourites – Neroli

Blessings – Have a wonderful day

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