March 4, 2007 at 11:58 PM #49893AbdesSalaam AttarKeymaster
“I have trouble with tuberose–
the lilies! I have very negative associations with
lilies through no fault of their own. Just a terrible
time in my life when the room was full of the smell of
stargazer lilies. I used to love the smell but since
that time, I can’t stand to be around them. I really
think maybe tuberose reminds me of stargazer lilies!”
It is strange to witness how animal we are and how deeply our animalness can overcome our humanity.
The nose identifies and memorizes smells in the most primitive way, associating them with emotions. The learning process of all living organisms starts with the first of all living senses, the chemical sense, the sense of smell.
An odor smelled in a strongly negative emotional situation becomes associated with it, and will then be identified when smelled again in future by the remembering of this emotion.
The record of an emotion is produced by the limbic system with neuro-chemicals as emotions themselves are produced, but in a mysterious way because although the actuation of the record seems to involve a much lesser production of these substances, the effect can be stronger than the original emotion.
A friend of mine had this problem with Frankincense (smelled in catholic churches for funerals) and this was a real problem because her husband discovered natural perfumery with me and showered himself with a frankincense perfume that I composed for him.
I have cured her in a simple way. I first of all explained her the mechanism of olfactory memories and counseled her to use frankincense in special situations loaded with positive emotions. As she had started to use aromatherapy for her children I explained to her when she should use it to cure them, being sure that seeing repeatedly her children relieved by this essence was a positive emotion sufficient to cancel the negative record. She now has no more problem with Frankincense.
I knew a girl who made a travel in a different part of the world once a year. She used to buy a new perfume before her departure and use it during the travel. She was keeping this collection at home to be able to live the emotions of her travels again, smelling these perfumes every now and then.
Man is a strange animal because knowledge can make him overcome his animalness using it as a rider uses a horse.
As the Sufis say: who knows himself knows God.
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