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The smell of happiness by Karen Little

orange and yellow flowers on a golden background by Karen Little

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While a lot has been written on aromatherapy, not much has been written about do-it-yourself, unguided sniffing. If you are adventurous, you might want to try!

Until the advent of online shopping, the acquisition of essential oils was somewhat exclusive. These beautiful smelling aromas tended to be found in big-city specialty spas, tourist areas, or from herbalists and wellness centers.

Today, without guidance from an expert, you can buy, sniff, and otherwise test essential oils by the dozens at reasonable prices from Amazon. Sniffing your way to happiness will happily not cost you a bundle.

To see for yourself, search Amazon using the key words "essential oil box sets," and order the results from low to high price. For $7 to $10, you will find a variety of sets containing six attractively packaged aromas. Up your purchase criteria to $15, and you'll find even bigger sets available.

Not all oils are traditional. Yes, you can easily find lavender, eucalyptus, and peppermint. If you are more daring, however, consider a set called "Bakery," where you get pumpkin pie, cupcake, sugar cookie, coffee cake, snickerdoodle, and gingerbread aromas.

I prefer "woodsy" aromas and recently ordered "the Gentlemen's Set," which includes leather, sweet tobacco, teakwood, bay rum, cedar, and sandalwood. This company also includes a set called "Elements," that contains campfire, dirt, rain, night air, and fresh cut grass.

Up your budget to $40 a set and you'll find even a wider range of aromas. And yes, you can pay more, although I don't know if the quality of the oils are higher.

As of this writing, $400 buys a 128-count sampler called "Fabulous Frannie," $200 gets you a pack of 24 called Edens Garden, and $100 also buys a pack of 24 Organic Aromatherapy Essential Oils.

Sniff a container of essential oil for an instant uplift or mood enhancer. You can also use essential oils as perfume, however you'll quickly learn that its aroma is easily picked up through handling and can result in an overwhelming odor. To create a simple application on your skin, mix a tiny drop of oil (maybe using a toothpick) with a mild oil base, like petroleum jelly. Visit lotion recipe suggestions on Google for more options.

Essential oils are also used to add fragrance to soaps, sachets, and, when added to a steamer, room fresheners. There are even battery operated car diffusers, which might be just the right size for small rooms.

Interestingly, instead of applying the oil directly to your skin, you can wear it in lockets and bracelets that hold essential oil-infused felt disks. You can also hang these strategically in small closets without overwhelming the scent within a tight area.

If you don't want to use a steamer, mix essential oils with a carrier oil, like coconut or jojoba, to diffuse the aroma throughout an area. To use, place natural reed sticks in a container that can hold the carrier oil/essential oil combination. The reeds soak up the aroma which is distributed through air movement. Buy reed diffusers on Amazon starting at $7 for a package of 120.

Is there any evidence that beautiful aromas can affect the way you think and feel? While you can start sniffing under the guidance of an aromatherapist and high-quality oils, consider using your own nose and the availability of lots of reasonably priced products to test various theories. Think of your sniff tests as "fun," not medicine.

Note: I do not profit from any of these suggestions. I refer you to Amazon simply for shopping convenience. Essential oils are available online at other shops, however, if you are working on a budget, Amazon's price comparison feature is very handy!


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Written by Karen Little of Sketch-Views

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