Nothing transforms a mood more swiftly than properly engaging your most influential sense: the sense of smell. Lavender bubble bath can soothe away the stress of meetings, conference calls and lists. Lemon makes us keenly aware of a freshly scrubbed kitchen on Saturday morning, and it doesn't feel quite like the holidays without the smells of pumpkin and spice, pine needles and roasted turkey. Of course, we have our own personal favorites that we ritually douse ourselves in before work, cocktail hour, or a night out on the town. Triggering memories, different scents evoke all sorts of emotions, both good and bad. And while people spend hundreds of dollars on their favorite fragrances, it is barely recognized that most scented products are created with toxic synthetic materials-- most of which are derived from petroleum. These toxic substances can irritate the skin, eyes, and/or lungs and induce asthma attacks. Using environmentally safe aromas to shift your mood can be beneficial to your health and consequently, even better for the environment.
A Few Basic Types
These scents are usually citrus smells i.e. grapefruit, lemon, and orange, and are best used when you need to feel alert.
The next time you have to rework your budget, or clean house, try this all natural simmer pot recipe.
1 cup fresh or dried peppermint leaves
1 cup fresh or dried sage leaves
When its time to destress, lavender is definitely a popular scent. However, there are other calming fragrances that can also settle the nerves.
Jasmine: known to prevent both nervousness and sadness
Chamomile: an herb with natural destressors
Bergamot: derived from the bergamot fruit (citrus family), this oil promotes a more relaxed and happy feeling
Sandalwood: a woodsy scent that helps to relax the mind and regain clarity
Transform a hectic day by sipping a cup of jasmine or chamomile tea, light a soy candle, or add a few drops of essential oils into your bubble bath before bed.
Down and Out
In these cases, it's always best to revisit positive experiences. Unfortunately, sometimes these scents are difficult to replicate. You can't bake shortbread cookies every time you get homesick, but you can slather on an all natural vanilla scented lotion. In these cases, tap into what you enjoy the most. For example, if you know that you prefer floral scents, treat yourself to a fresh bouquet or make scents according to your type.
Remember, synthetic fragrance is not limited to body sprays, but includes scented hand and body soaps, detergents, and house cleaning substances. These can be harmful to your body. Additionally, as these products go down the drain, their negative impact on the ecosystem increases. Explore your options with natural scents and reduce the amount of toxins released into the environment and your body.
Note: Essential oils must always be researched prior to use, some (like ginger) can produce heat, and others can also irritate the skin if not diluted properly. Light carrier oils like vegetable or walnut oil should be used in conjunction with your scent of choice.