Isnt it amazing how much nicer the world seems when the sun is shining?
I dont know whether it is the fact that we are all a lot happier wearing less layers, or whether it is the warmth of the sun on our skin setting off our happiness hormones, but there is definitely an uplift in the general atmosphere. Even at work it doesnt seem quite as bad knowing that the sun will still shining on our way home, (and the annual firemens trip around the factory to check the safety of the building DEFINITELY lifted the mood amongst us ladies in the office!). Also, the evenings are getting longer and brighter, so there is always the chance of a late night sneaky glass of vino in the back garden in the dappled disappearing sunlight.
Like most people I know, my life has it’s fair share of ups and downs, amounting to a certain level of stress on a daily basis. What with working full-time, trying to run a family home, and family members with long term ill health, I often resort to using some form of aromatherapy or other to soothe my shattered soul.
This usually takes the form of a beautifully scented candle (I do seem to keep Jo Malone, Diptyque and the like in business single handedly!), or maybe a few drops of essential oil in my bath. I’m never quite sure whether it is the actual properties of the oils themselves that manage to calm and de-stress me or whether its the whole aromachology aspect of the scent, but something definitely hits the spot!
I was asked the other day what the difference was between aromatherapy and aromachology, so here is a quick description for both…
Aromatherapy is the systematic use of volatile plant oils (essential oils) for the treatment or prevention of disease. Essential oils have been used since ancient times as a healing aid and work by assisting the body’s natural ability to balance, regulate, heal and maintain itself. The oils consist of tiny aromatic molecules that are readily absorbed via the skin, and whilst breathing, through the lungs. These molecules then enter the bloodstream and are carried around the body where they can deliver their beneficial healing powers.
Aromachology is seen as the study of how a variety of aromas affect the brain and the physiological makeup of the human body. In brief, it is about how we act and react to individual fragrances and how our body reacts when we experience them. In essence it is a study of how fragrances in general can provide a feel good factor and affect your general mood.
Here are a few of the main essential oils along with an odour description and their main properties.
- Aniseed – sweet odour – softening, soothing and moisturising
- Basil – green aromatic – relaxing
- Bay – strong clove like – softening, soothing
- Benzoin – sweet vanilla like – relaxing, stimulating, soothing, moisturising
- Bergamot – spicy citrus – refreshing, uplifting
- Camphor – pungent – stimulating
- Cedarwood – sweet turpentine like – relaxing, aphrodisiac
- Chamomile – sweet herbal – relaxing, calming
- Cinnamon – warm, spicy – stimulant, aphrodisiac
- Clary Sage – warm, nutty – relaxing, aphrodisiac
- Cypress – smoky, woody – relaxing
- Eucalyptus – medicinal aromatic – stimulant, relaxing
- Frankincense – spicy, balsamic – relaxing
- Geranium – strong floral – relaxing, soothing
- Jasmine – intense powdery floral - calming, aphrodisiac, uplifting
- Lavender – sweet floral – relaxing, stimulant
- Lemon – sharp citrus – uplifting, stimulant, refreshing
- Myrhh – camphor like aromatic – relaxing, soothing
- Neroli – sweet floral – soothing, relaxing, calming
- Nutmeg – sweet spicy – stimulating
- Patchouli – sweet rich herbaceous - relaxing, aphrodisiac
- Peppermint – clean menthol – relaxing, stimulating
- Pine – clean, balsamic – revitalising
- Rose – soft sweet floral – relaxing, aphrodisiac
- Rosemary – warm, medicinal woody
- Sandalwood – warm creamy woody – relaxing, aphrodisiac
- Ylang – intense sweet – relaxing, soothing, aphrodisiac
So the next time you are in need of a relaxing evening make sure your candle is scented with the likes of rose and sandalwood, or for an uplifting fragrance, use a sharp lemon, orange or grapefruit, and let me know whether it has the desired effect.
As for me i’ll be dreaming of chilling on a deserted beach with a good book and the wind in my hair………Have a happy Easter weekend.