As human beings, we are emotionally impacted by scent. In fact, our sense of smell is considered the only sense that evokes a purely emotional response. Research indicates that smells are not filtered through the part of the brain that ruminates or analyzes, but rather thru the part that responds and operates without conscious thought. It is reported that our responses to smell take place within 10 seconds after exposure – with no thought process involved. We react and then think.
The basis of Feng Shui is that everything is comprised of energy or chi. Contact we have with the physical world is through our senses. Our olfactory sense is the oldest of the five senses. Smell, emotion and memory are all linked in the limbic systems of our bodies. Certain smells affect how we feel emotionally and can also affect our level of energy both positively and negatively.
Although we experience chi through aromas, both pleasant and unpleasant, smell is the sense that is most often overlooked. From a Feng Shui perspective, we can use scent to evoke certain emotions and set certain atmospheres in a room. Response to smell is very emotional and personal, and therefore it is important to consider your individual experience with a particular scent before bringing it into your space.
One way to work with scent is through the use of essential oils. While having a diffuser is the most common method of application, you can also add the oils to humidifiers, vaporizers, washing machines or dishwashers. A few drops can be added to a bowl of hot water or to the melted wax of a candle. Other applications include saturating a cotton ball or making your own air freshener spray by adding 15-20 drops of favorite oil to one cup of distilled water. Whichever method of application you choose be sure to read labels prior to use.
Below is a list of scents, along with their generic qualities and possible applications.
Calms and soothes; good for insomnia and depression. Spray on bed linens or bathe in lavender oils or soap to reduce stress prior to bedtime.
Clears confusion; refreshes tired minds. Associated with cleanliness.
Optimism and happiness. For a basic orange cleaner add ½ cup water, 2 tablespoons baking soda, 2 tablespoons liquid castile soap and 1 teaspoon orange essential oil.
Stimulating and invigorating. Inspires creativity. Often recommended for relief of migraines and nausea. Also considered a natural appetite suppressant. Add 2-4 drops to a burner or hot water.
Cleanses and purifies. Light a pine scented candle to let go of the past and release things that no longer serve you. (Note, the National Candle Association reports that candles from beeswax have more health benefits, as they burn much cleaner than paraffin wax, which is made from a petroleum by-product.)
Considered an aphrodisiac. Light rose-scented candles in the bedroom to set the mood for romance.
Strengthens a weak memory; restores mental alertness. For an energizing bath, add 5 drops of rosemary and 2 drops of lavender oil.
Relaxing anti depressant. Also considered an aphrodisiac. Can be diffused or burned as incense.
A goal of Feng Shui is to learn how to engage all of our senses. The more developed our senses are, the more we can tune in to our environment and make beneficial changes. By considering the emotional impact of aromas, you can create a nourishing and healthy living space with a positive and harmonious flow of chi. Take time to smell the roses!
by Susan Tartaglino, Red Ribbon Professional member of the International Feng Shui Guild
Article Source: Making Scents of Feng Shui
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