That smells amazing!?

By Ross Ashcraft

Have you ever smelled something wonderful and then moments later recalled something you had not thought about in years?  Maybe you walked down a hospital hallway and suddenly you remembered visiting Grandma when she was sick.  Or perhaps you smelled pot-roast and started thinking about mom and how much she means to you.  Smell is an amazing sense and is considered the most power initiator of recall.  It has the ability to literally make us time travel through our own recorded memories.  This week’s topic of Aromatherapy uses this powerful and natural response to enhance a massage experience.

The main component in Aromatherapy is essential oil.  Essential oils are oils extracted from the bark, roots, or leaves of plants.  These oils are the delivery system for an aromatherapy experience.  Two things are happening when we are exposed to Aromatherapy through the use of essential oils.  The first is a chemical response where the skin reacts to the volatile nature of the oils.  The oils chemically change the skin and surrounding tissue causing the blood flow in that area to change.  An increase in blood flow then distributes the chemicals response to the rest of the body.  The reactions in the body can swing from sedation or excitement to pain relief or release of toxins.

The second reaction is through an emotional response the client receives from the aromas.  As mentioned earlier these smells can cause an extremely pleasant or unpleasant reaction.  Obviously the working therapist wants to bring up pleasant experiences in their session.  Try asking the client at the beginning of the session about the smells that they like the best.  Perhaps you could even provide a list of oils for them to choose.  This list should contain the typical emotional and chemical responses that the essential oils typically inspire.

Finally, I’ve provided a few recipes for you to try out.  Please test them and come back and comment on any responses you may have discovered.  I recommend using essential oils as a regular component of your massage practice.  It is a wonderful way to enhance a client’s experience and get that all important re-booking!   Thank you, Katina Lashard for doing the initial research for these aromatherapy recipes.

  • Recipe for a Relaxing and Calming Bath:
  • 2 drops Lavender
  • 2 drops Bergamot
  • 2 drops Cedarwood
  • Recipe to relieve Nervousness:
  • 6 drops Geranium
  • 4 drops Basil
  • Recipe for a fresh, clean smell in the air:
  • 1 drop Cedarwood
  • 3 drops Pine
  • 2 drops Rosemary
  • Recipe to induce Sleep:
  • 2 drops Chamomile
  • 2 drops Lavender
  • 2 drops Neroli

I’ve also listed a good reference site for your continued research.

30 thoughts on “That smells amazing!?”

  1. I’m definitely going to have to try that lavender one in my 6 month olds room. He has a tendency to not want to sleep all night-maybe this will help him relax some. Thanks Ross!!!

  2. The wonderful world we live in needs aromas to help us remember the good moments in life. The insite of aromatherapy and its benefits is endless..I found these informations helpful.

  3. I’ve always liked the idea of aromatherapy. The psychological studies on it are particularly interesting to me. I just wish that the really good quality oils weren’t so expensive.

  4. I like this post on the aromatherapy info. I’ve never tried any but I love the smell of lavender and it is in my room as it helps me sleep well through the night.

  5. Aromatherapy is a imperative to the character and nature of every individual client. Therefore it important to know the origin and the source of such a therapy that has the potential to balnce us in more ways than one.

  6. i love aromotheray and learning things about it and learning what scents can help with what problems and how some smells do remind of things in the past. i think i will keep this blog

  7. This information is great, I think aromatherapy is so great. I love that certain smells make me think of things that remind me of what used to be. 🙂

  8. I didn’t realize that the use of essential oils also effects the blood flow – very interesting! And thanks for the recipes…I wonder if the one for nervousness can work for pets as well? 🙂

  9. Aromatherapy is amazing. Thanks for sharing this, Ross–it is an important part of my business presently and something I can’t wait to utilize in my MT studies. Your recipes sound GREAT! Going to try the one to induce sleep straight away.

  10. This article is so true about how a scent can take you back down memory lane. I also believe in the art of mixing things up a little. It’s like my favorite tea store, they never use one tea alone they always mix it up with two or more. Cant wait to try mixing up the oils because some of them stink if you use it alone. LOL

  11. I can relate to smell bringing back memories, as all of us can, I’m sure. I do however find it interesting that the same scent can take different people to different places. I can’t wait to try them myself.

  12. It’s true as to smells bring back memories or even remembering smells when you see something. It is a very strong imprint in my personal experiences. I look forward to trying the recipes.

  13. I find this very interesting. I am always amazed at how smells from forever ago can bring back memories. I am excited to try out these recipes. 🙂

  14. When people enter my room, they immediately say, “I love that smell, what is it”, I buy lavendar bounce sheets and put behind the fan. or sprinkle lavendar essential oil on a kleenex and hide it. No one has ever had a negative on lavendar.

  15. I absolutely love aromatherapy. I am intrigued by the last recipe, because I have never smelled Neroli before, but I love chamomile and lavender. I use chamomile and lavender infused epsom salts in my bath water occasionally to relax and treat sore muscles, and it never fails for me. Thanks for these recipes Ross!

  16. I am extremely happy to try out the scent for nervousness. I fight with anxiety alot and always looking for new things to try out to help relieve some tension. Lol even though new things tend to make me nervous lol.

  17. I have always been interested in aromatherapy and i cant wait to go to Omega classes to possibly learn more and feel a little more comfortble using them. I love how there are so many different essential oils that are available. I also definately believe in smell bring back strong memories.

  18. I can’t wait to do this it sounds very exciting! This article is very true, now I can’t wait to beable to smell all the different smells and also remember the memories I had with them. I am excited to learn more about aromatherapy and can’t wait to use all the different essential oils.

  19. Thanks for the new recipes, Ross!! I will put them to use on my clients, and myself…have a great day!!!

  20. Like cooking in a kitchen. All the great smells. It is amazing how they make you feel after it is all over. Great plan to try this whenever I can get my hands on some wonderful oils to make a creation.