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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