Our sense of smell is our most primal sense. It is attached to the oldest part of our brain. Smells affect us on a deep level, and we often react to them in an instinctual way. Scents are very important in feng shui: as humans, we create formative memories based on what we smell when we’re young, and these scents send us powerful, unconscious messages later in life.
Our bodies can be prompted to react in certain ways based on the association that we have with certain smells. For instance, for some people, the smell of oranges reminds them of vacationing in Florida with their grandparents and conjures a happy memory, relaxing them and bringing them joy. For others, it might bring up feelings of stress, boredom, or discomfort if that smell is associated with snack time in elementary school. The scents that positively affect us vary greatly from person to person, and smells that seem unpleasant to one may conjure up sweet memories for another. The nose never sleeps, and scent is crucial to feng shui because smelling the air around us is an active part of the human experience.
All scents can be sorted into eight different categories:
And depending on which scent resonates with you and how intensely you want it to permeate throughout your environment, there are several different ways to dispense it:
Direct Method - using an actual substance, like putting out a bowl of cinnamon sticks or adding rose petals to a pillow.
Diffusers - using electric or candle-powered methods to heat leaves or natural oils so that they release their scents into the air. This also includes adding essential oils to a bath.
Ventilation Systems - adding natural oils to your home’s furnace or air conditioning system so that they circulate evenly throughout the house.
Burning - lighting natural incense or smudging with white sage.
Check out the next post, 18 Common Scents and How to Use Them with Intent, to learn about how common fragrances affect us and how to best use them!