The power of smell

Every year I have dreaded autumn because it is the beginning of the darker nights and mornings; the onset of winter to come. I have rarely appreciated the latter half of the year. This year I have spent more time reconnecting to myself and nature (I don’t mean in a hippy dippy sense), taking more of an approach of daily gratitude and living more mindfully, I have noticed much more about my surroundings. This week I have thought more about the power of smell.

Scents and smells have an amazing power, they can cast you back to childhood, they can make you think of a memory or an intention. For me Grapefruit will always take me back to my Nan’s kitchen when I was 10 years old.

The act of smelling something, anything, is remarkably like the act of thinking itself – Lewis Thomas (November 25, 1913–December 3, 1993)

While practicing mindfulness mediation, one of the first exercises I learnt was smelling food before I ate it. I never spent so much time paying attention to a raisin! Getting acquainted with its shape, its colour, its smell – before I even tasted it. The experience made me think much more while eating food, where it came from, how it nourishes me (or doesn’t) and thinking about what I was feeling right there in the moment. The power of smell is strong and magical in what it can conjure up.

Tell me: What is your favourite smell and why? Or what smell has the most power over you? I’d love to know, leave a comment.


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