Confessions of an Aromatherapy Convert
Maybe it’s the name—which for no good reason still sort of provokes an inner teenage eye roll—but up until a few weeks ago I’d never given much thought to aromatherapy.
Don’t get me wrong: The switch to clean products in the first place—and away from synthetic fragrance—changed my relationship to smell almost immediately. I’m painfully sensitive to the chemical stuff now, a phenomenon we’ve discussed in the past, and often drawn to (or repelled by) products because of their scents. My nose tends to tell me before my fingers whether or not my face will like a new cream—probably not uncommon.
Studies have shown time and again how powerful this sense is, with its capacities to trigger memory, avoid incest (research has shown that we’re repulsed by the body odor of those from a similar gene pool as our own), find food, chill us out (remember the jasmine study?)—just to name a few.
But I’ve never carried around a scented mist to clear my mind, balance my chi, and create healthy energy barriers. Until now.
Two new brands recently entered my life—in rather quick succession—and all of a sudden I’m spraying, I’m inhaling, I’m rubbing temples, and leaving oil dabs under my nostrils. Here’s how it happened: At the end of the Evolue/EWG event a few weeks ago I got to talking with Katie Hess, the founder of Lotus Wei Flower Essences (that’s her above bewitching Sophie Uliano with her scents!) and her friend and cohort Lisa Reinhardt from Wei of Chocolate (more on these treats in another post). After a long night of nonstop gab, these women were a welcome refuge of calm. I took the visual test that’s also on the Lotus Wei site, and after some deliberation over preference went home with an Energy Mist. Now every time the negative thoughts rise, or my energy dips, I whip it out of my bag and spritz-spritz the pain away—and, to my surprise, it actually works.
But there’s more. The day after the event I met two other amazing women for lunch—it seems women teams attract other women teams, much to our delight—green nail stylist Jenna Hipp and her awesome business partner Vanessa Gualy. We got on like a house on fire (I so wish Siobhan had been there to complete the foursome) and within moments of meeting we were sharing vegan nachos and swapping stories about our hormones, our livers, our skin, our hopes and our dreams. And, also, aromatherapy.
They told me about Hope Gillerman, giving the kind of breathless two-headed review that me and blondie do when we’re completely bananas over something. And now I know why: these oils are incredible. I’ve only had them for a few days—I came home from Montreal to a box of samples—but after just a few whiffs I knew that these would become a regular ritual. As I write this, I am taking periodic sniffs of the Tension Remedy (which supports mental clarity) and last night the sweet smell of the true relaxation Stress Remedy lulled me to sleep.
We talk a lot about the role stress, and thought patterns, play on our health and our looks. And while I’m not implying that these (admittedly pricey) concoctions are a substitute for things like meditation, yoga, and actual talk therapy—I am convinced that the kind of short mental breaks they afford during the day must do something positive for the brain.
Think I’m a flake? Into aromatherapy? Never tried? Tell us about it.
Image via Lotus Wei