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WKU Wellness: Cognoscente About Scents

Rose Donnelly

It is amazing to think that even the smallest things can remind us of a very distinct time and place. Catching the aroma of cookies baking in the oven is like catching a metro train that can take you back to the days of spending winter holidays at home with family. Running into a fresh, lemony scent may bring you to the lunch line of your elementary school’s cafeteria. Driving back from work with the windows down and smelling the scent of rain may bring the nostalgia of racing through the rain with your friends to get home on those summer days in June.

In an instant, a specific fragrance can unexpectedly leave us reminiscing because aroma is not limited to a passing object or place; rather, it is ingrained with that time period of our lives. Hence, in a way, it can be very healing. 

Although I am not a cognoscente, or expert, on scents, we can use different scents to our advantage. Aromatherapy has been a common method to promote healing. It utilizes scents from various natural sources to aid in recovery. 

Lavender oil is a commonly known essential oil that is used to induce sleep and relaxation. Different scents can also be present as essential oils which can be purchased and used to promote certain feelings like relaxation and focus. 

Coffee is another scent that is quite famous but often goes under the radar in relation to its effects. The mere smell of coffee has been proven to improve focus and concentration. With the fall season creeping up on us, a coffee shop can be a great place to study. 

Speaking of the fall season, I must mention pumpkin spice. There is a close tie between the scent of pumpkin spice and warm, cozy emotions. It just reminds us of family, and one cannot say it is the fall season unless there is a breeze of pumpkin spice flowing in the air. In fact, pumpkin spice is a scent that is most popular in stores during the fall season, so our sentiments towards this scent are justified. It is the classic essential to “feel” like it is fall.

Along with the fall season, comes the cold breeze that makes students want to linger in their bed even after the alarm goes off. Does this sound familiar? If so, try citrus scented oils like lemon or sweet orange. They will help you in your battle to stay awake during your early morning lectures. 

Apart from citrus scents, minty scents like peppermint can help you stay alert and retain the information being presented. If you have a test coming up, the sage scent can help you maintain your inner peace as you attempt to navigate your way through classes.

Before trying new oils, it is advisable to consult your doctor about any possible adverse reactions.  

Commentary writer Vidhi Parekh can be reached at [email protected].

If you would like to submit a reaction to a piece, Letter to the Editor or other submission, please send it to commentary editor Price Wilborn at [email protected] or [email protected].

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