The Power of Scent by Lorri Amsden Of all the senses, the sense of smell is often the sense considered least important. Yet a scent has the power to set the mind reeling. Scent not only has the power to affect mood and invoke memories, a scent can shape your entire sense of well-being. Scent can even affect the way others respond to you. Fragrances have been casting their spells for thousands of years. As early as 7000 BC, man used fragrant ointments from oils and plants. The Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and Chinese all used essential oils not only for bathing and perfume, but for healing as well. The olfactory nerves are connected directly with your brain, where scent impulses create instant memories and reaction. A single scent has the power to trigger feelings of peace, energy and even a good night’s sleep. Many scents are associated with memories and summon certain emotional responses. We react to specific aromas with a specific response. We are comforted by the savory scent of baking bread. We feel festive when breathing in the scent of apple-cinnamon pie. The invigorating scent of lemon, lime or tangerine works to lighten our mood and lift our spirit. While the scents of rose and vanilla evoke memories of romance. The complicated world of scent is all around us casting its spell. One way to harness this power is through the use of Essential oils. Essential oils are oils made from the leaves and flowers of plants. You can buy bath products or home fragrances containing the oils, or you can purchase the oils on their own. Every oil has its own, unique healing property. Once you know the benefits of each essential oil, you can use them to their full advantage. The power of scent is not hard to incorporate into your every day life. For example: Essential lavender oil has been traditionally used in France as a topical application to heal minor burns and reduce scarring. It is also used to counteract insomnia, anxiety, rheumatism, headaches, pains and as a regenerative and anti-aging treatment. When you are feeling frazzled and need a mood lift, try adding several drops of essential lavender oil to a hot bath. Not only will this relax your mind, studies show that lavender oil helps reduce joint and muscle pain. Even if you’re too busy to think of scent as a daily necessity, there are effortless ways to integrate their powers into your daily routine. The simplest one is to end your day with a fragrant soak. You can add a couple of drops of essential oil to your bathwater or make up a batch of bath salts. Salt not only draws impurities out from your body, it works to heal and deodorize it too. These make-ahead recipes can last up to six month. For best results, use a wide-mouth quart-size jar and store in a cool place.