One of the challenges for a modern Pagan is to take the sense of the
sacred, the elation and joy we experience in ritual circle and weave it into everyday life.  Aromatherapy has always been a cornerstone for me in threading enchantment and happiness throughout everything I do and it is achieved through both the types of scents I choose but also the divine experience of of intermittently smelling an ephemeral scent throughout my day.

Take this week. Work was proving somewhat stressful and challenging. I experienced this as feeling this cloak of something unhappy closing in around my bright centre; smothering me.  At times like this there is always a special trio of oils I turn to:

Lemon - As I have said before, this does what you expect and smells of lemon.  It's powerful citrus scent is like experiencing a bottle of sunshine and it is the most joyful, carefree and uplifting oil I have ever used.

Lavender  - a clean and herbal scent which is something of a cure all. It balances your mind and body, de-stresses and it a generally, aids relaxation and reduces stress.  Really something of a wonder herb!

Rosemary  another clean and herbal scent but with an extra kick of something, Rosemary wakes up my whole brain.  If I need something to get me focussed and to keep me sharp then Rosemary is always my first port of call.  The herb has traditionally been associated with good memory - even in Shakepeare's time when Ophelia says "There's Rosemary, that is for remembrance".

On tough days at work I use a combination of either Lemon and Lavender or Lemon and Rosemary dabbed on the neckline of my clothing, perhaps on a seam where the oil won't show but where I can smell it easily. In both cases the Lemon is a really bright and uplifting scent which makes my mood light and joyful.

       -  In combination with Lavender it clears my mind but acts as a
            gentle stress reliever.

       -  In combination with Rosemary it doesn't have the same stress
            relieving punch but my mind works like a clear and clean
            supercharged machine.

By using the scent on my clothes it wafts around me all day and I am constantly absorbing the uplifting, clear and stress relieving
effects.  Everytime I consciously notice the scent I use it as a
memory trigger.  This reminds me to bring myself back to my centre of calm and joy and this happens several times in the day. 

In this way there is an ambient effect and more powerful individual instances of mindfulness.  I have often heard other people remarking on the lovely smell and so in some way I feel like I can be the centre of a wave of joyful calm in the office.

My only words of warning on this gorgeous practice are:

1. The oils can stain your clothes so be careful about where you apply them, you might prefer to use a tissue tucked in somewhere.

2. Oils such as Lemon can irritate the skin so don't put it somewhere where the oil will be able to soak into your skin.

3. Don't use the same oils everyday as your nose will become accustomed to the scent and you won't be able to smell it any more. Using more and more oil will solve this temporarily but will
get expensive and eventually you'll end up overpowering the office.
Better to only do it a couple of days a week for maximum effect.

Happy Scenting!
2/17/2012 05:08:04 pm

Oh, I love this! I use them in my cleaning too, I have a spray bottle filled with water, baking powder and lavender oil to clean and soothe at the same time. It smells so lovely! :)

2/17/2012 05:45:53 pm

One of my goals for the year is to start making my own cleaning products for use around the house. I'll definitely be using lots of essential oils, not only do they smell great but some of them like Lavender and Tea Tree are seriously anti-bacterial!

2/17/2012 06:58:02 pm

Great post and great thoughts. Yep I'll be chasing down some of these.. Think I had a bag of oils that could do with resurfacing today! Thanks for the inspiration!

2/17/2012 10:57:03 pm

Always good to be of service. Also, we should swop our oils list and then have a sniff party!

2/17/2012 09:27:12 pm

I love aromatherapy but I use them mostly when I'm sick. Thanks for reminding me that the smell can help in so many ways too!

2/17/2012 10:58:08 pm

My pleasure. I also need a reminder now and again that I can use oils to "prevent" as well as "cure". Especially with stress!

2/17/2012 11:26:05 pm

I love using essential oils and aromatherapy! Thanks for this post!

2/17/2012 11:30:43 pm

I am so pleased you found it useful!

2/18/2012 02:01:38 am

Essential oils are such a gift of them......been using them for over 18 years and they are wonderful for relieving anxiety ;).
thx for sharing!

2/18/2012 02:19:46 am

So great to talk to a fellow enthusiast for aromatherapy. I started using them 15 years ago myself and have never looked back. As you say, perfect for anxiety and related problems like stress etc.

2/19/2012 02:07:55 pm

I respond intensely to scent, and almost always have some form of scented candle, incense, oil blend or natural perfume around me.

When I'm writing, I have a special blend of peppermint, rosemary and basil oils that's become my "writing scent". In more daily life, I love the citrus scents: mandarin, lime and grapefruit are my favourites, but orange and lemon are lovely too.

Your lavender/lemon blend sounds like a gorgeous one as well - I look forward to trying it at some point :-)

Blessings - TANJA

2/19/2012 03:01:26 pm

Hey Tanja

Your peppermint, rosemary and basil sound like it packs a huge punch. That would be so perfect for mental clarity when writing. I am going to have to try it!

2/20/2012 03:36:37 pm

It's awesome - the peppermint is refreshing and invigorating, the basil is great for focus and concentration, and the rosemary for thinking and remembering. I can't remember when I first discovered the blend, but it's become my writing "go-to" now!

2/20/2012 09:54:42 am

I love essential oils! Thanks for the tips and uses of rosemary and lemon., I will be trying these!

2/20/2012 02:52:10 pm

Thanks Petrea - let me know how you get on with it.

2/21/2012 06:50:30 pm

I qualified as an aromatherapist 7 years ago but I've been using them for about 15 years. I adore them and use them daily in some way. I like to place three to four drops of sweet orange, grapefruit or rose on the elastics of my workout outfits for that wonderful aromatherapy-while-you-gym feeling as your body temperature rises :)

2/24/2012 04:41:20 pm

One of the things on my Life list is to one day qualify as an aromatherapist so you are now my hero!

Sweet Orange, Grapefruit and Rose sounds like a gorgeous combination - I shall have to try it.

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