The intriguing mix of the peppermint and citrus oils scents made my skin tingle as it wafted by my nose. It was my new soap and it was evoking a response within me that I had not previously experienced. After a few days, I felt invigorated, more energized than I had felt in months. At first I thought it was a change in my diet but upon further reflection I knew there was only one new variable in my life-my soap!
There are certain aromas I enjoy. My cologne is based upon the Verbena herb, a lemony-citrusy scent. My moisturizer is embedded with eucalyptus. However, up to this point, I have never encountered a scent or combination of scents that evoked such a strong visceral reaction within me. Naturally I thought I had fallen victim to clever advertising but after a week of using it, I was convinced that the soap was definitely altering my outlook and even enhancing my energy levels.
I had always heard about aromatherapy and while I, like many others, know the emotional power of a scent or aroma, I dismissed the therapeutic effects that are enthusiastically supported by its pundits. Yet, this recent experience motivated me to explore the connection between aromas and health. Not surprisingly, the peer-reviewed medical literature is replete with numerous well designed clinical trials documenting the efficacy of aromatherapy in treating numerous psychiatric conditions and relieving stress and pain in conditions diverse as childbirth, the pain of cancer and chemotherapy, and post-operative discomfort. I now agreed with my own sample size of one.
Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And when the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, the LORD said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”
Genesis 8:20-22 (ESV)
God created us with a very perceptive olfactory system. Is it any wonder that He also designed us to emotionally respond to certain aromas? This verse from the Bible confirms this. A scent is much more than an aroma that stimulates and entices our olfactory system. It is a pathway to experience God’s blessings through His Creation. It reminds us of God’s promises that He will always provide and care for us. It should also encourage us to become like the sweet aroma of Jesus Christ, spreading the Good New of salvation to all those who confess and repent of their sins and place their trust in Him as Lord and Savior.
But thanks be to God, who always leads us in Christ’s triumphal procession and through us spreads the aroma of the knowledge of him in every place. For to God we are the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.
2 Corinthians 2:14-15 (CSB)
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.