One of the greatest pleasures of being involved with essential oils is the time I spend with people who come round and want to sample them.
And one thing I always notice is that people tend to fit into two different groups: there are those who just lift the bottle up to their nose and have a sniff; and then there are those who like to have a good look at the label first. I find this very interesting, and I think it brings up something rather deep.
Most of us who went through Western education (yes, I am one of them) have been trained to be rather analytical and ‘left hemisphere’ in our outlook. We want to analyse things rather than just experience them. We need to know what they are supposed to be before we experience what they actually are. ‘I want to know what the label says before I smell the oil.’ Maybe there’s an element of insecurity here too: ‘I don’t want to be caught out and expose my ignorance’.
These are the ‘lookers’.
‘Sniffers’ on the other hand just want to experience the oil (and maybe experience life too). They don’t care what it is ‘supposed to be’. They just want to know what it is, and to embrace the effect it has on their mind, body and spirit. Maybe they are more inner directed, more self-referral?
So why do we sometimes find it so difficult to identify an aroma? I believe that this probably stems from the fact that most of us simply have not ‘educated’ our sense of smell, and the connection with speech. We recognise an aroma but can’t describe it because we haven’t made those neuronal connections. How many times have you said, ‘Oh, I know what that smell is, but I can’t bring it to mind’.
Maybe this is one reason why connecting with essential oils can be so liberating. (Oops, I almost said ‘eye-opening’!). As we cultivate our sense of smell we begin to create a mass of new neuronal connections using the most evocative of our senses. No wonder we become so fascinated by essential oils.
So what is my stand on this? Well I certainly used to be a looker, but over the years I have been working on retraining myself as a sniffer!
Your comments and insights are welcome.