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12 New Year Rituals, Day 4 :: SMELL

{no.4 in a 12-part series on new year's rituals, inspired by this MindBodyGreen article}

ritual for january 04: smell

Of all of our five senses, smell is the only one that goes directly to our brain. Experiment with different scents to see how you feel. Vanilla works well to lift your mood. Orange boosts your energy, while chamomile or lavender may calm you down. Jasmine is a wonderful aphrodisiac and rose is often associated with opening your heart. (original article)

I indulged in a ritual this morning that I enjoy regularly, new year's intentions or not. I started my day with a long, hot bath full of Redmond salt and 10 drops of pure lavender oil. Redmond is a local company that harvests salt from the ancient sea bed of the Great Salt Lake. Their Bath Salt+ product is not filtered, turns my bathwater red with traces of clay, and both detoxifies my body while depositing raw trace minerals into my skin/blood stream. It's magical. It smells earthy. It grounds me instantly (and literally). 

lavender_nice.jpg

As for the lavender oil, it's one of my favorite essential oils. It's calming and sensual. I spray my bed sheets with a diluted version and rub it on my wrists every night, so it always triggers a cozy, sexy response in my body. The lavender I'm using now is 100% oil, steam distilled in Provence. I purchased it from the maker at her flower market stall in Nice. In addition to the calming benefits, I'm instantly transported back to one of my favorite places on Planet Earth. 

Since I'm floating down memory lane, here are a few more photos from the market in Nice...all a memory of delicious smells. These images were originally published on The Avid Cruiser website while on assignment for Holland America Cruise Line in October 2014. The article was also reposted on my site. Read all about the my travels in Provence here and here. Bon voyage.

Lesson learned for 2015: Continue using the oils I love, but also explore new scents and combinations. Allow time for my favorite scents to take me down memory lane...even on a random Tuesday afternoon in the office. Take the time. It matters. 

Love + lavender,
gail

P.S. What are some of your favorite essential oils? Or commercial perfumes? I love perfume and lately I'm obsessing over Harvey Prince's Petaly Noir.

12 New Year Rituals, Day 5 :: PLAY

12 simple rituals to welcome 2015