What is the value of a great essential oils diffuser? My trusty little petal diffuser by doTERRA is $55 (wholesale) so there's that obvious value. But beyond that, can we talk together for a moment about what this little device truly brings into people's lives?
In an article by Psychology Today, researchers talk about something called the “Proustian memory effect" where childhood memories linked to scent stay with people throughout life. Meaning scent of a product evokes personal emotional memories. And here's where it gets even more interesting....the smell perceptions can be largely determined by prior experiences and learning and also even cross cultural differences in how we experience scent. "In North America and Europe citrus scents are perceived as bright and happy smells, while lavender is perceived as calming. In Japan, jasmine is associated with a relaxed mood. Rose is viewed as being an energizing and happy scent".
In an Oxford academic research paper, aromas are being measured scientifically to look at the effects on emotions. The article shares that there are methods of measuring both the subjective and physiological effects of aromas and fragrances on emotions and reports on a method called Mood Mapping™ that reliably measures the mood associations of aromas, (Warrenburg, 2002).
But these are the smallest examples of the scientific research available in the way of scent. So, science aside (which I love but it's not my fave thing to jam on), my own personal experiences have really shaped how I see the value of bringing feel-good smells into our lives. So let's talk about that for a second.
When I first started using essential oils, I was about 8 years old. My Mum has been an avid natural health advocate since ....well....forever, and so she would apply lavender on everything. We constantly had a supply of lavender. I didn't LOVE the smell at the time (looking back I now understand the vast difference in essential oil quality - and therefore also the aroma of each particular brand of oil too) but I did start to understand at that early age about both the practical uses of our friend Lav as well as the ability for it to create some calm just by taking a big inhale.
The next time I used essesential oils wasn't for years later. I was 31 years old, 7 1/2 months pregnant with my second babe (my first daughter was 16 months old at the time). I was craving centredness, calm, balance, freedom.....and also craving a feeling of me that I'd lost in the transition into motherhood. So when my oils arrived at my doorstep with my diffuser, I started to slowly integrate the idea of aroma into my life.
:: Morning......pepp + wild orange to uplift and set a beautiful peppy energy to the day despite a heavy belly and a toddler up all night.
:: Afternoon....Sandalwood + Balance + Lime for a mostly grounding/calming afternoon with my little toddler who always has seemed to have a little bit of extra life (and energy) somehow packed into her tiny soul.
:: Evening......Lavender + Easy Air in my little ones' bedroom for a easy segway from bathtime to reading to bedtime.
I never know just how effective the oils are in changing up the moods and behaviours of my little ones (now 2 and 4), but I do know that the simple process of stepping over to my diffuser, taking a section to choose my oils intentionally and just taking a breath (in the midst of toddler meltdowns and chaos), feels like coming up for air. If you're a Mum, I know you'll understand what I mean.
I've now been using essential oils (only doTERRA #obviously) since early 2015 and experiencing all the feel good feels (at the times I need them most) using the oils and my trust little diffuser. So what really is the value of a diffuser then? And the availability to use scent with the purest oils in the world to support your emotions and moods? To me, there isn't a value I can place on that at all.
PS if you're not already hanging with me on facebook, come hang with me here. I'll be sharing my review of doTERRA's diffuser line over there soon (as well as the usual posts about authentic network marketing, #mumlife and essential oils).