The Pleasure and Power of Aromatherapy
and the Sense of Smell in Overcoming Anxiety

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Broadly speaking aromatherapy refers to the therapeutic use of our sense of smell. The sense of smell and a particular aroma is for many people a very powerful trigger of memories.

If a certain smell is linked in our minds with a positive experience it is common for memories of that event to flood into our awareness whenever we smell that same aroma here and now. Likewise, negatively connected memories are also triggered by the scents we associated with them at the time.

The field of aromatherapy is based around the associations we make with feeling calm and the natural scents of the oils whether it be by evaporating them in an oil vaporiser or burner, or using them for massage or in creams or perfumes.

Jasmine has always been one of my favourite smells. A whiff of it transports me immediately back to Tunisia decades ago where my new husband and I were given garlands of it to wear each night as we entered the hotel dining room.

Jasmine is also one of the fragrances used in many perfumes. Perfumes are usually created from a combination of different smells - there are usually ones which are known as base notes, then middle notes and finally top notes. The three levels of smell combine making the fragrances, just as the notes in a musical chord, combine to create something greater than the sum of the parts.

Jasmine as a calming influence

jasmine flowers

A couple of years ago I came across a report in The Telegraph which explained that the smell of natural jasmine has power to calm the brain. It must be natural jasmine rather than the synthetically created variety which is made in laboratories and used in many toiletries because it is cheaper than the real thing.

The article claims it to be more powerful than valium. I can't validate that claim, but the reason I'm writing about it here is that if you are someone who likes jasmine anyway, it might be helpful to maybe use some products which contain it from time to time.

I don't promise this will cure your anxiety, although this article suggests it might on a moment by moment basis. Nevertheless favourite smells are very powerful at giving us the feelgood factor and so it will make you feel a bit more positive. It needs to be natural jasmine though.

One manufacturer who offers body lotion which includes natural jasmine is Jurlique but there are doubtless many others.

*Sue Breton is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Everyday Feelgood Factors

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  1. Overcoming Anxiety
  2. Self Help
  3. Aromatherapy