You know when you step out in the morning and you can just smell that it’s ‘Autumnal’? It’s the same for any season, there is just something in the air that tells you when it is. For me the most significant one is a November morning, there is a distinct musk in the air as the leaves and fruits mulch down.
Right now though, and especially the last few days it’s had a warmth in the air and this brings a sweetness, maybe like that old saying ‘The last of the summer wine’? It’s the ripeness of fruits and vegetation all around us, the heat, sun and rain this summer have really brought all those sugars to peak this time, and the scent is on the air. So right now I wouldn’t say we have an Autumnal scent yet, which is what I was expecting to be writing about, we have a late summer scent, and this is valid in Chinese medicine. Where the fire of summer meets the earthiness of September we get a sweetness on the nose with the maturation of the vine!
What I really want to talk about is the power of smell and the effect it has on our mind, and our memories.
It's an incredible thought that altering what we're sniffing can help our mindset - but it’s completely true. I've always been quicker to buy a scented candle or lovely hand cream after sniffing, it overrides almost anything else for me! Our sense of smell is the strongest of our senses.
We're more likely to remember a smell than anything else we see, hear or touch today.
For example I sniffed 'Joop' in duty free at the airport 20 or so years ago before going to Norway for one night. I always remember that trip, when I smell that aftershave!
It's great if you have a favourite scent, that you sniff and it makes you feel good, but what if I told you there are absolutely certain scents that will trigger a feel good factor in seconds?
Squeezing a fresh orange....
Can you feel unhappy when you catch that citrusy spritz?
All Citrus smells are UPLIFTING, this is the beauty of them, in perfume terms they are Top Notes. This just means they react quickly in your brain so within seconds you feel the positive benefits from Lemon, Lime, Bergamot, Grapefruit and Sweet Orange.
You may then say, 'oh but I don't like....' one of the above, and there's a reason for that too. Each of the citrus scents has a physical effect on your body, and depending on whether you need it or not as to whether you like it or not.
Citrus fruits like Lime and Grapefruit have a strong cleansing effect on the liver; have you ever had a medication and been told not to eat grapefruit? Well, even sniffing it can pass the powerful molecules into your blood stream.
So here's the point: when you smell an essential oil you are immediately sending a powerful message directly to your limbic system, which in turn influences your nervous system, your hormones, and your ability to withstand disease.
And this is most likely why we can step out in the mornings and ‘smell the season’, it immediately taps into our ‘old brain’ and reminds us of memories of years gone by, maybe even right back to our caveman instincts telling us exactly the time of year and what we should be doing!
Don't under estimate the power of scent, it literally can save our lives.