I’ve always loved scents and aromas. When I was a little girl, I loved standing in my grandmother’s bathroom in rural Minnesota and smelling all her lotions and potions and creams.
We led a simple life in a small town in Wisconsin, where everything we ate came from within miles of us. My dad had an amazing garden that seemed to grow every year, filled with lush black and red raspberries, currants, lingonberries, vegetables and succulent pear and apple trees. He really was quite the horticulturalist, and had a total green thumb. I was always getting caught with my school chums with berry stains all over our clothes and faces ... it was just too good to resist in the summer with some of Mom’s homemade lemonade! Both my mom and grandmother were excellent cooks, so there were always scrumptious aromas coming from the kitchen and the garden.
This glorious upbringing led me to a lifelong passion of incorporating aromas into everyday life.
Healing through aromatherapy
I came to aromatherapy by way of a bad car accident. When none of the traditional methods worked, I went to an acupuncturist and he gave me a book that he thought would help me with my recovery. It was “The Art of Aromatherapy” by Robert Tisserand. That was in 1990, before the internet and cell phones, so it was hard to find aromatherapy materials and education ... even essential oils. I found a small newsletter magazine called the Aromatic Thymes when I lived in Chicago. It was stapled together and later became a glorious four-color magazine, but had some interesting contacts and class information too.
From the small joy of scent to practicing aromatherapy
My aromatherapy journey has evolved since I started. As I mature, I am much less affected by what others may think of aromatherapy, and I am more concerned about providing myself and those who are interested some instruction on the joy that scents give me. I still find it a little hedonistic to surround myself with magical aromas on a daily basis... essential oils, gorgeous scented creams, fresh flowers.
I am not sure that my “scent voyage” has changed that much over the years. What has changed is I am always finding a new oil or combination of oils to obsess over! Overall I feel it has transformed into a tangible, glorious, enchanting, dare I say, addiction? It certainly is a very healthy addiction to have! It has given me so much and has enhanced my health and wellbeing in innumerable ways. Even though I always led a somewhat healthy lifestyle, I was young and did the things young people do! When I started exploring oils I really paid much more notice to my overall health and even amped up my health and fitness regime. I worked part time at a health food store when I was 18, and that afforded me the luxury of getting great products that were hard to come by at that time. I was even using products with essential oils in them, but I had never heard the word aromatherapy uttered before.
I really cannot imagine my life without my daily dose of aromas in so many varied forms. I truly believe that the old adage “Stop and smell the roses”, is a metaphor for us to slow down and enjoy the little pleasures and to savor the true essence of life. Writing this has been beneficial since I sometimes forget the role the fragrances play in my life, and all the health benefits that come along with it. If I take my access to it for granted, I always find something that brings me back to where I started... and vow to start taking my day one sniff at a time.