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Olfactory Feelings

For those of you unfamiliar with the term olfactory, it is “of or relating to the sense of smell” (Miriam-Webster).  Have you ever walked into a room, whether it be in a store, a house, a  lobby or even an office and instantly been transported (metaphorically of course) to a much desired place; a tropical island or beautiful log cabin, high up in the mountains for instance or even gone back in time to an amazing childhood memory?  Well, you can thank your olfactory organ for that.  Yes, it is an actual organ and without going into too much mumbo jumbo, it is what is responsible for allowing us to experience the sense of smell.

You’re probably saying to yourself, “yea, yea, sense of smell, whoopty-doo.(1)” I happen to be someone who is mildly obsessed with essential oils so I can fully appreciate the power of the sense of smell.  I don’t want to tell you that you should too, however, if you are interested, the next time you have the opportunity to take a minute and really smell something fragrant (good or bad), close your eyes and try to identify how you feel. You may surprise yourself.

Candles and diffusers are one of the most popular gifts and one of the easiest ways to give into to your sense of smell.  For example, it is a common belief that the scent of lavender helps to relax us and even soothe us to sleep.  There is scientific research out there that confirms this finding along with many other scented herb properties.  I don’t want to stray off topic too much but just wanted to share the fact that in many (but not all) cases, there can be a comfort found in knowing that the scientific community has backed up some of these claims through their research.

One of my absolute favorite scents is Moroccan Amber by Nest Fragrances.  This amazing scent consists of sweet patchouli, heliotrope and bergamot and a hint of eucalyptus.  The funny thing is that each of these scents are not ones I particularly like on their own.  However, this blended combination has an incredible effect on me.  As soon as I smell it it is as if all my thoughts leave my head and in that instant I feel a small sense of calm and peace from the chaos in my own brain.  If only that could last a little longer…oh but wait! It can!  I just have to close myself in a room and light the candle.  For me that isn’t the problem, my problem is, having a full time job and a two year old doesn’t allow me to really be able to close the door to any room let alone be by myself for any given amount of time.  So, I do the next best thing and have a candle lit in my office when possible.  That is about as alone that I get these days, but it’s all ok, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

The next time you are in a store that sells candles (hopefully it’s J Paper) take a minute while your testing out the scents.  Don’t put it down until you can identify at least one feeling.  See if it changes your perspective on purchasing candles or scented items in general.  Go find those olfactory feelings and don’t hesitate to come back and share.


Happy Sniffing,


(1) I couldn’t believe it! Whoopty-doo was actually in the Urban Dictionary, so of course, I had to footnote it.  It is defined as, “a phrase commonly used to signify a lack of importance in a given matter.”



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