Monday, June 10, 2013

Scent with Love

So, as is true to my "can't leave well enough alone" nature, I'm dabbling in yet another past time, which is aromatherapy. Actually, I've been interested in essential oils for almost 2 decades, ever since I majored in botany in college and took some courses focused on the human uses of medicinal plants, and on the phytochemicals in plants that give them their various aromatic and medicinal properties. I've also dabbled in homemade soap and lotion-making over the course of the last decade and the use of essential oils in those crafts, so I suppose this really isn't all that new, after all, just a resurgence of an interest.

So I'm rambling on about this interest in fragrance, and I'm sure you're wondering what that has to do with sponsoring children through Compassion. It occurred to me as I have been accumulating the supplies to make some scented necklaces, handmade soap, and handmade lotion bars for my Compassion ETSY store that certain fragrances instill an immediate sense of peace in me. For me, patchouli is a scent that is forever relaxing because I associate it with carefree college years (my husband, on the other hand, detests it). I also love the scent of suntan lotion because I recall summers on the beach in Florida with my family. The smell of cinnamon and oranges reminds me of Christmas, while the sweet, woodsy smell of Balsam Fir, quite possibly my favorite smell in the entire world, reminds me of quite walks in the woods on a warm day, no worries, and a deep connection to nature and to God.

If fragrance evokes such warm, deep memories (and countless research proves it does), then why not use fragrance to scent our sponsored child's world? No doubt our sponsored kids are surrounded by pungent scents of their own that evoke memories, hopes, dreams... but what if we introduce our own scent story to our kids, sending a little piece of scent that they associate with love, with hope, with uplifting strength? Forevermore they will associate that with a sense of well-being, of being cared for and loved. What a special gift, all in an aroma! to do that when we can only send paper? Here's my plan, and maybe you'll want to do it, too.  I am going to spend some time thinking about what scent describes me. I am going to play around with my essential oils (maybe you have a perfume you love to wear, or maybe the warm smell of cinnamon or vanilla extract makes you swoon), and when I find just the "right" scent, I'm going to stick a cotton ball with several drops of this oil in a plastic bag with my writing paper, stickers, bookmarks, etc.  Leave the paper in the bag for a while and...voila! You have lightly scented paper that will waft out when your child opens the bag.

I'll explain in the letter that I've scented the paper with my favorite scent, one that fills me with hope. Maybe for you it would be the frankincense and myrrh gifted to Jesus on his birthday, or pungent peppermint. Maybe soothing lavender or uplifting orange.

Anyway, I think it's a pretty neat idea to send a fragrant message of hope to our kids in another place. And who knows--maybe the older kids will return the favor by scenting their paper with the spicy fragrance of India or the Jasmine air of Thailand!

Happy Monday!

PS... Look for my scented necklaces on my Compassion ETSY store next week, and soaps and lotions late summer!


  1. That's a very neat idea!! Thanks for sharing it with us!

  2. Wow. I so have to do that :) I love that idea!!! You should share this on OC too :) Thanks sooo much for sharing!