Smelling the Roses

My sister had a science teacher in junior high who was teaching them about different parts of the body.  To help them remember  olfactories (which is something in your nose…it’s your sense of smell I guess) she told them that old people smell. Ol-Old-Old people smell.  I thought it was hilarious.

The other day I was giving some test taking tips to a student who was experiencing a lot of test anxiety.  I told her my best tip is to spray yourself with a certain kind of perfume- whatever kind you like- each time you study.  Then right before the test spray yourself with it again.  Your sense of smell will help you remember what you studied.

One time I heard a sermon about the Kingdom of God.  The sermon equated it with coming home and how for the preacher coming home always reminded him of baking bread.  The ingenious worship director placed bread machines throughout the worship center so that all throughout church that morning everywhere you went it smelled like baking bread.  It really drove the point home…and made me hungry.

All of this to say that there is incredible power in smell.  Apparently a lot of what we taste when eat a delicious meal comes from the smell of it. (Click here for more weird facts about smell.)  Try it some time.  Pinch your nose and take a couple of bits of something.  Then let go of your nose (what a weird thing to type) and take a deep whiff of whatever you’re eating (this will probably not make much of a difference with Lucky Charms so ya know…try it with real food) and see if you notice a difference with the next couple of bites.

The way things smell can bring us so much enjoyment but we don’t often stop and really smell things.  Lately I’ve made a practice of taking a deep breaths as an attempt to relax and enjoy each moment.  And I’ve noticed there are certain things that I just love to smell.  Garlic roasting, laundry as it’s tumbling around in the washing machine, the weird chemical smell of a nail salon.  I love the smell just before and after a good rain.  I like the way the library on campus smells- old books, plastic technology, and wood polish.

In an article from the Mirror Online (look for the link below) it says “Studies show that 75% of emotions are triggered by smell which is linked to pleasure, well-being, emotion and memory…”  So maybe the expression stop and smell the roses isn’t such a joke after all.  Maybe we are designed to be able to have this small moments of joy and stress-relief throughout our day by stopping and smelling something good.

Have you stopped?  Have you appreciated any of the tiny, beautiful details around you?  Are you so busy running that you don’t even see the roses?

Today, may you take the time to stop, smell the roses, and appreciate the small details of the good things around you.

PS:  I hope your day doesn’t stink!  (See what I did there?)
Check out this article for some more interesting facts about smell:
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