Ah. The whiff of those Petite Madelaines. Call it Scent Therapeutics.
Of course I read Proust in college and on some level I understood how profound the olfactory sense is and how it is linked to our emotions, memory, etc.
And of course I took human bio and learned about the link to the limbic system as driver of responses.
And then I learned about the ayurvedic approach to health and understood more profoundly how the senses go to the core of what makes us who we are and how scent can actually shift some of the processes in our body that look like imbalances.
And then I met Yael Alkalay , brilliant nose and founder of Redflower, the organic luxury beauty line, who taught me the importance of scent. In “Being There” a short video, she explains some of the science behind the nose.
Birth of the Personalized Olfactory Mantra:
One fine day Yael gifted me a tiny brown vial labeled: “For Lisa When She Chants.” Magic in a bottle. Like nothing I had ever smelled. I daubed a drop on my wrist before my morning practice every day for a week. From then on the whiff of that earthy-sweet elixir takes me right to the chanting/meditation space it used to take me an hour session to achieve. I have come to call this an “Olfactory Mantra” and we would all be lucky to have one.
There will be more on this subject of scent but for now just remember that certain scents have qualities that soothe certain doshic imbalances while others might further aggravate.
- Orange: ease emotional tensions.
- Rose: calms, cools and soothes the mind. (rosewater is great for dark eye circles and facial inflammations like acne as well)
- Geranium: helps ease symptoms associated with PMS and menopause
- Sandalwood: relaxes the body and sharpens the mind.