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quote over green mandala - “There is a pleasure in the pathless woods.” ~ Lord Byron

What’s your favourite smell?

What is it that you like about it? Does it conjure up a memory for you? If so, that’s your olfactory system at work.

Did you know that smell (your olfactory system) is the only one of your senses that can have a direct effect on the limbic region of your brain – that part that controls your behavioural and emotional response to something? No wonder you either gravitate towards or are repelled by certain aromas – sometimes not even consciously knowing the reason why.

This month’s blog series is all about the joy habit of pleasure from Chapter 38 of my book Being Joy™ where I explain the importance of taking a break each day from your responsibilities and enliven one of your five senses. And this week is all about your sense of smell and its impact on your behaviour.

Some people have a very acute sense of smell and food is often a big draw. In fact, many businesses know about the power of scent to draw in customers who will spend more depending on the scent. It’s known as “Scent Marketing.”  Think popcorn. Yeah, I know, I can’t resist it either.

sliced oranges, cinnamon sticks, and star anise

Then there are scents like lemon and other citrus scents that can uplift your mood, or use lavender for relaxation. There are also scents to assist your body like the smell of peppermint for brain fog or rosemary for the respiratory system.

Or how great do you feel when you walk in a forest and inhale the healing energy of spruce, pine, fir, or cedar? The Japanese practice Shinrin-yoku or “forest bathing” as it is known in the west, can help to enliven all of your five senses, not just that of scent. Check out this blog post if you’d like to learn more about this healing practice.

Thankfully more of us in the west are beginning to acknowledge the mental, physical, and spiritual benefits of nature. In fact, I recently learned that Canadian physicians can write out a “nature prescription” for clients who might benefit from an alternative to anti-depressants or substances. The prescription entitles the patient to a free annual Discovery Pass provided by Parks Canada. We’ve come a long way! Hurray for the healing power of scent!

grassy path through forest with sun beam

So, I ask you to spend some time today surrounded by scents that bring you more pleasure than discomfort and more peace than despair. And that my friend, is your prescription for joyful living.

Love and healing from your Joy Mama,

Gloria Stewart signature

P.S.   I have studied aromatherapy for many years and can attest to its effectiveness on many emotional and physical ailments.  Because they are derived from nature, they truly are Mother Earth’s pharmacy and her gift to us. If you are interested in learning more, send me an email at

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy these:

Slow your roll. Live more joyfully now.
Your nose knows it
Are you a tree hugger?

Images from Pixabay.

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