| Lindsay Becker

Unlocking the Power of Scent, how to train your nose…

In the world of aromatherapy, the nose knows best. Our sense of smell is a powerful tool that can transport us to distant memories, evoke strong emotions, and even improve our wellbeing. At the heart of aromatherapy lies the ability to harness the potency of essential oils, but to truly appreciate their benefits, it helps to know exactly what you can smell and to learn to distinguish between the different scents. Just like any other skill, it requires practice and patience.

Olfactory training, also known as scent training or smell training, is the process of deliberately exposing oneself to a variety of scents in order to enhance the sensitivity and discrimination of the sense of smell. The olfactory system is incredibly complex, consisting of millions of sensory neurons that detect odour molecules and transmit signals to the brain. Through consistent exposure to different aromas, these neurons become more finely tuned, allowing us to discern nuances and complexities within scents that may well have gone unnoticed before.

If you are eager to cultivate your own sense of smell, there are several simple yet effective techniques to kickstart the process…

#1 Build a Scent Library: Assemble a collection of essential oils representing a wide range of aromas. Start with basics such as Lavender, Peppermint, and Lemon, then gradually expand your collection to include more exotic scents such as Sandalwood, Jasmine, and Ylang-Ylang. 

#2 Practice Mindful Smelling: Take some time each day to engage in mindful smelling exercises. Select one essential oil from your collection and focus all your attention on its scent. Close your eyes, inhale deeply, and pay close attention to the various notes and nuances present. Try to identify any underlying characteristics such as sweetness, spiciness, or earthiness and note your findings down. Of course, day-to-day life throws up many more opportunities to dive in, nose first - a morning coffee, spices in the kitchen, sitting down with a hot chocolate, mowing the grass - all of these offer further opportunities for training your nose, if you remain mindful.

#3 Blending Experiments: Experiment with blending different essential oils together to create unique scent combinations. Start with simple blends of two or three oils and pay attention to how each oil interacts with the others and how the overall scent profile evolves over time. 

#4 Scent Memory: Challenge yourself with scent memory to enhance your olfactory recall. Place a few drops of various essential oils on cotton balls or scent strips, then shuffle them and try to identify each scent to strengthen your sense of smell and memory retention. Associating smells with a memory or emotion is a great way to retain that knowledge.

#5 Incorporate Aromatherapy into your daily rituals: Integrate aromatherapy into your daily routines to reinforce your efforts. Add a few drops of your favourite essential oil to a diffuser or evening bath, or of course, incorporate some of our products (which have already been expertly blended!) into your routine and use the different blends to fit with your moods and times of day. 

Engaging in regular scent training offers a multitude of benefits for both mind and body with certain scents, such as Lavender and Chamomile, having been shown to have calming effects on our nervous system, promoting feelings of relaxation and reducing stress. 

Aromas have the power to uplift us and sharpen our mental clarity, making olfactory training a really valuable tool for enhancing our moods and concentration. By embracing the practice of mindful smelling, experimenting with scent blends, and incorporating aromatherapy into our daily rituals, we can unlock the full potential of our sense of smell and experience the benefits that essential oils have to offer. 

Discover our blends here and let us know which is your favourite - and why!