Have you ever been struck with a clear memory by the mere whiff of an aroma? A dessert at a dinner party. The perfume of a passing stranger. The furniture polish used in your best friend’s living room. Catching a scent from your past can instantly trigger a memory that may otherwise have remained fuzzy or even dormant.
How does this happen? Science holds the answer – scent enters our nostrils as microscopic chemicals called aromatic structures. Our olfactory nerve then transports them to the limbic seat of our brains—where mood and memories live. Aromatherapy is the practice of using this scientific knowledge to our advantage. It’s a simple strategy used to calm, invigorate or balance our moods using nature’s most basic gift: plants. Here are a few of the most powerful aromatic herbs:
Lavender. A perennial favorite of aromatherapists, lavender is hailed for its uncanny power to soothe, calm and even sedate. Dab essential lavender oil onto your wrists and neck for an all-day calm that lasts.
Peppermint. Refreshing and energizing, the scent of this leaf is practically synonymous with freshness Useful as a pick-me-up, it can also clear sinus and lung congestion. Experience it most intimately by crushing fresh mint leaves between your fingers, cupping your hands to your face and inhaling deeply.
Chamomile. This small white flower, similar in appearance to a daisy, is renowned for its sleep-inducing effects. The steam from a cup of hot chamomile tea is a phenomenal vehicle for its aroma. For the best results, steep whole dried chamomile flowers in hot water for 3 minutes, strain, and sip your way to slumber.
Eucalyptus. This subtropical tree’s scent is strong and medicinal. Used for its energy-giving sustenance, it’s the perfect scent to get you through a long day, or just a short burst of high-concentration activity. Allow its aroma to envelop your workspace by burning an oil-infused candle or using a reed diffuser.
These simple approaches, easily taken at home, the office, or the gym, can improve your productivity and overall feeling of wellbeing. Try them out for yourself and if you’re truly ready to take aromatherapy to the next level, indulge in one of our customized Spa Baths. Create some soothing memories and the next time you catch a scent of lavender on the breeze, you can remember what it felt like to truly unwind.