Monday, May 4, 2009

The Pleasures of Scent

Customers entering The Cupboard usually comment on the lovely scent in the store. They almost seem to pause and take an “aaahh” moment.

The funny thing is, I didn’t set out to create a special scent when I opened the shop. It’s simply the result of the combined testers and samples open. The triple milled soaps, lavender filled items, drawer liners, scented candles and diffusers in the store all join together in a very pleasing way.

This continual comment from customers has convinced me that we need to do more to have the same feeling in our own homes. What better place to bring scent in to your home than in the rooms where you let the day slide away; your bedroom and bath.

Begin as I did – leave a few bars of your favourite soap on the counter in the bath and let their delicious scent greet you when you open the door. A few bath tablets or bath salts left open in a dish by your tub will contribute their own delicate scent. A scented candle lit during bath time will have you well on your way to your own “aaahh” moment as you ease into a hot tub.

Create an overall scent for your bedroom with a diffuser or direct your pleasure in specific ways. Lavender pillow spray or a pajama wrap filled with lavender under your pillow will ease you to sleep. Ancient Romans understood the healing properties of lavender. Its ability to calm seems even more important in the 21st century.

It’s not difficult to have a similar ‘scentual’ experience to that in the store, whether it occurs accidentally or you are deliberate in your efforts.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Judy, love your Blog.
    Thought I'd comment on scent and aroma since this is where my expertise lies.
    Sandra Topper

    Where did aromatherapy originate?
    The 5,000 year old science of extracting essential oils is one of the earliest forms of medicine. The Egyptians used Frankincense, Sandalwood, Rose, Calendula and many other plant extracts in their day-to-day practices of medicine and worship. We have learned through recorded history that Frankincense is one of the essential oils used to treat anxiety and grief. chamomile is used for its soothing skin properties, Lavender is a relaxant, while Rosemary is a stimulant.

    What are essential oils?

    Pure essential oils are components of plant's immune system. They are most often extracted by steam distillation. The aromatic liquids that result contain between 500 and 2,000 compounds and vary from crop to crop depending on growing conditions.

    How do aromas affect the body?

    We all know that animals are very receptive to smell. Smell is the most powerful and the most instinctual of all our senses. Scientists say that our sense of smell is inborn, rather than acquired because new born infants, even before they have tasted food, screw up their faces at unpleasant food odours. There are approximately 30 million smell (olfactory) receptors in each of our nostrils. These receptors send messages to the brain's olfactory bulb where the smell is analyzed. From here the message travels to the limbic system of the brain, the area of the brain that is responsible for arousal, motivation, emotions and memory.

    What other ways do essential oils affect the body?

    The skin is the largest organ of the body. Its purpose is to protect the body from unwanted toxins. With the ability to absorb and expel, it makes sense to use natural products. Some essential oils are anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory or anti-spasmodic. Essential oils may help to repair tissue, rejuvenate the skin, improve circulation, balance hormones and break sown mucous in the respiratory system.