Stop and Smell the Roses
Stop and Smell the Roses
Smell is a very powerful sense. It is a wonderful gift from God that will hopefully enable us to experience many more uplifting odors than repulsive ones. The ability to smell is one of the key ways that we are able to engage our environment. Understanding the basics of how the sense of smell works can help us appreciate it more deeply and inspire us to use it more extensively to explore the wide spectrum of aromas in our world.
The connection between smells and emotion is why aromas can also significantly affect our moods. (How Smell Works) It is a linkage that advertisers love to exploit. For example, real estate agents may tell a home owner to have cookies baking in the oven during an open house. Many marketing companies try to figure out how smells can motivate us to buy everything from food to clothing. One savvy pastor used the smell-mood connection to make a sermon illustration come alive. As he spoke about popcorn, someone directed the odor of freshly cooked popcorn into the ventilation system where it then wafted over the delighted congregation.
Our noses are true marvels of heavenly design. Understanding and appreciating their intricacy can help us become more conscious of the aromas around us and can also motivate us to make better use of our noses to proactively seek out and experience new smells. We could even take our own “Aroma Safaris.”
Since smells can be so enjoyable and uplifting, we would do well to explore how they might be deployed in our homes and workplaces more effectively. The following is a list of ways that you turn your environment into an aroma haven:
1. Use scented candles.
2. Add scented oil to humidifiers.
3. Display flowers in vases.
4. Hang up bunches of flowers or herbs. Jill Blake advises people to, “Hang sweet-smelling flowers or bunches of herbs in the kitchen or dining room. Bay leaves, rosemary, sage, lavender and bergamot smell particularly wonderful. Hang dried herbs in cupboards.”
5. Fill dishes with potpourri that includes items like dried rose petals, violets, jasmine, lily of the valley, marigolds, larkspur, pinks, sage, rosemary, bergamot, lavender, lemon verbena, and chamomile. You can also add aromatic herbs, spices, wood shavings, pine cones, cinnamon sticks, plus other great smelling elements to scent the air. Check out Healthy Home by Jill Blake.
6. Utilize scent warmers or reed diffusers. Reed diffusers are a certain kind of reed with one end in an aromatic oil and the other sticking up out of a container. They require no flame.
7. Grow an indoor herb garden and raise pleasant smelling house plants.
8. Boil herbs to release wonderful scents. Boil water in a pan, then remove from heat. Add a few whole cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, and a small amount of nutmeg. Add fragrant oils as desired. Skins from citrus fruits also work well. Click here for more tips on how to make your house smell yummy.
9. Burn incense.
10. Display soaps in a basket.
11. Dilute fragrant oil with water and spray around your home.
12. Air out the house and let nature’s aromas in.
Every person I know loves the aroma of chocolate. The science of “sensomics” has broken down that intoxicating smell into its various chemical components. It turns out that the aroma we know as chocolate is made up of a combination of substances that individually smell like potato chips, cooked meat, peaches, raw beef fat, cooked cabbage, human sweat, earth, cucumber, and honey.107 Put them all together and our brain says, “Chocolate!” Our mind works that kind of magic with other smells as well.
The more we know about the God-given gift of smell, the more we are able to appreciate it and use it gladly to inhale the wonderful aromas in our environment that can be every bit as delightful as the heady scent of chocolate itself.