Scents. Smells. Fragrances. Olfactory sensations. Sniffs.
From the buttery or chocolatey scent of homemade cookies baking in the oven when we step through the door after school, to the pungent fragrance of pine needles when we finally put up the live Christmas trees, we are much more connected to our sense of smell than we often realize.
We had my eldest daughter and her five children visiting with us last week. Her youngest, an adorable three-year-old girl, was having a hard time sleeping at night. Summer had really messed with her sleep and nap schedule and trying to sleep in a strange bed was not helping matters. She was tired, she was cranky and she was vocal.
“Do you ever use essential oils?” I volunteered. “I have one that is called Nighty Night and it’s specifically created for children.”
“Do you think it will work?” she asked, a little skeptically.
“What can it hurt?” I replied.
I set up the diffusor from my office (the one I generally fill with oils that help me think clearly or give me energy) in the bedroom, added water and Nighty Night and turned it on. After a little while, the little one yawned widely and snuggled in for a good night’s sleep. The best she’d had in a long time, according to her mother.
Scientist have said that the sense of smell, more than our other senses, is linked closely with memory. Pine and Christmas trees, butter cookies and mom, powerful perfume and Aunt Greta, cut grass and summertime.
But it’s not only in our memories, it’s also our emotional response to smell. The National Sleep Foundation stated that “lavender has been shown to decrease heart rate and blood pressure, potentially putting you in a more relaxed state. In one study, researchers monitored the brain waves of subjects at night and found that those who sniffed lavender before bed had more deep sleep and felt more vigorous in the morning. Another study of infants found that they cried less and slept more deeply after a bath with lavender scented oils.”
This week we’ve been harvesting the lavender and it’s so wonderful to breathe in that unique scent. But it’s also calming, like weeding in the chamomile patch.
Have you thought about incorporating fragrance into your life? Forgive the pun, but I really think it makes a lot of scents.