Better Living Through the Nose

Marketers would have you believe that aromatherapy can cure headaches, hangovers, stress, sleeplessness, and all manner of generalized ickiness. And, apparently, said aromas can be delivered via all kinds of surprising vehicles. Just last week, my editor handed me a lavender-scented pencil, given to her by the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa; I sat, sniffing the pencil, and felt myself magically transported to my Happy Place in the midst of a conversation about — umm, well, actually, I don’t recall. (Note to self: Happy Place pencil not appropriate for work.) At the moment, I’ve a new-fangled “AROMAPatch” on my hand, and, frankly, it’s giving me a headache. The AROMAPatch press kit included three varieties of the quarter-sized patches: Sleep Therapy; Stress Relief, the one I’m currently wearing, which — although it’s conjured vivid recollections of my grandma — has done remarkably little for my stress level; and, the most fantastic of all, Dietary Management. Its ingredients list includes only “Tropical Orchid Essential Oils,” while the back of that box reads, “A device that will act as a constant reminder to help you eat more sensibly. By forming an association between a specific smell and a desire to manage your food intake, you can learn to eat healthy foods and gain control of your weight.” We’re not holding our breath.

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