Our sense of smell is approximately 10,000 times more sensitive than any other sensory organ we possess.
The olfactory system, our “nose-brain” association, is the most direct connection we have with the environment.
The Olfactory System
How we Smell
Incoming aromatic molecules enter the body via the nose with every breath inhaled.
The nose is structured in such a way as to capture and hold aromatic molecules and keep the olfactory hairs (cilia) moist.
The olfactory hairs pick up the odor molecules and bind them to the receptors.
Messages are sent along neurons to the olfactory bulb and directly to the limbic brain.
This area of the brain is where moods, sexual urges and emotions are seated.
All of this takes place within thousandths of a second.
Nothing gets closer to the brain…than aroma!
We possess about 5 millon olfactory neuron cells. These cells are the same type of cells the brain is made of. But unlike brain cells, that last a lifetime, these important cells replace themselves every 1-2 months.
There are several variables involved with how keen one’s sense of smell is:
* Whether somone smokes or not will affect that person’s sense of smell.
* Head injuries, or a stroke can cause dysfunction in this area as well.
~ The dominant nostril of a person correlates with the dominant hand.
~ Between the ages of 20-40 is when our ability to smell is at it’s peak.
~ Evening is when most people seem more sensitive to smell.
~ Women have the greatest acuity to scent during ovulation. Studies show that women who live together, experience synchronized menstrual cycles over a period of time.
~ Never select a new fragrance when you are not feeling well (physically, mentally or emotionally) – for you will always associate the fragrance with that feeling.
Aroma and Memory
Personally, I’ve always had a passionate interest in aroma and the effect it has on me.
Not only do I enjoy smelling things…but what really intrigues me, is the powerful ability in which it invokes such strong memories and emotions (both positive and negative).
The other day, I happened to walk by a sales counter containing a bottle of fragrance that I wore back in the mid to late 80’s. I brought the bottle up to my nose, closed my eyes and took a big whiff!
Like magic!…I was instantly transported to a specific time in my life when I first inhaled the aroma. A flood of visions and feelings filled my entire being with that moment, which then caused me to remember a whole time period in my life. People, places, music, and actual experiences. It was like I had hit the “rewind button” on my life, and was not only seeing it…but re-living it in the cells of my body!
Suddenly I grinned…remembering what a wonderful time in my life it was; recalling how “childlike” I was then…just starting out on my own inner spiritual path.
Then I began to feel where I am right now in my life – grateful for where the past has lead me.
I remembered something very important….
To never lose that “childlike quality” within myself…so that my heart and eyes always remain open.
And all of this took place within seconds…because of an aroma!
I encourage you to embrace Aromatherapy through essential oils. Allowing this ancient art to bring you balance, harmony, health and memories…for the rest of your life!
Portions of this post gratefully supplied by: “Aromatherapy – Soothing remedies to restore, rejuvenate, and heal” – Valerie Gennari Cooksley, RN
For pure essential oils and supplies: Hands-On Aromatherapy