Skip to content

Choosing Your Scent Is A Matter Of Taste, Literally

The Shape of Air


"Every living entity; be it nutritious, poisonous, sexual partner, predator or prey, has a distinctive molecular signature that can be carried in the wind." as written by Daniel GolemanThis molecular signature is detectable in our sense of smell which produces a particular psychophysiological response. This is why we are drawn to specific scents and why we prefer a few fragrances out of so many on the market. We find ourselves attracted to essence of certain people and repelled by others.
Have you ever wondered why you are not attracted to everyone you meet? Or why you experience a special chemistry with one person and not the other? Ayurveda answers that every person has a unique essence - our ojas - that is secreted by glands and is indeed a product of body chemistry. 
The scent of something originates from its taste. What tastes sweet, smells sweet; what tastes bitter, smells bitter. There are six basic tastes or rasas: ergo, six basic smells. Each one has the properties of the elements that make it up. Chart below is an excerpt from Pratima Raichur, Absolute Beauty
Rasa . . . . . . Compostion . . . . . . Properties
Sweet . . . . . Earth + Water . . . . . Cold, Oily, Heavy
Sour . . . . . .  Earth + Fire . . . . . .  Hot, Heavy, Oily
Salty . . . . . . Water + Fire . . . . . .  Hot, Oily, Heavy
Pungent . . .  Fire + Air . . . . . . . .  Hot, Light, Dry
Bitter . . . . . . Air + Space . . . . . .  Cold, Light, Dry
Astringent . . Air + Earth . . . . . . .  Cold, Medium
"A taste and its aroma, like water and steam, are just the same matter in different forms, so they affect your constitution in similar ways. The fire in pungent food increases Pitta, for example, whether you eat it or smell it. It just varies in how the body ingests it. With aromas, "odor molecules either pass via the air sacs and capillaries of the lungs straight into the bloodstream, or via the olfactory nerves of the limbic system and hypothalamus, where they stimulate the endocrine system and hormone production. Because these effects are immediate but short-lived, aromatherapy is ideal to ease feelings, enhance the mood, or reduce stress symptoms on the spot. Quick-acting and easy, it is a perfect adjunct to the daily skin care routine, especially if you have an imbalance rooted in emotional causes.
Essential oils are the basic tools of ayurvedic aroma therapy. You can use them in any or all the ways suggested but its most beneficial to use the essences whose tastes and properties compliment your skin type. 
For dry skin { Vata }: Sweet, warming, calming, hydrating
For sensitive skin { Pitta }: Sweet, cooling, soothing, hydrating
For oily skin { Kapha }: Pungent, warming, stimulating, drying
So choosing your scent is literally a matter of taste. Its a matter of constitution.
There are about 150 essential oils used in aroma therapy. Here are few recipes of essences to get you started.
Calming & Warming { Relieves anxiety; balances Vata }
3 drops each of neroli & lemon + 2 drops each of jasmine & sandalwood + 1 drop vanilla + 1 oz. of pure jojoba oil base.
calming and warming essential oils vanilla, neroli, lemon, sandalwood from gya labs for diffuser
Calming & Cooling { Relieves anger; balances Pitta }
5 drops each of sandalwood & vetiver + 1 drop jasmine + 1 oz pure jojoba oil base
Stimulating { Relieves depression; balances Kapha }
4 drops bergamot + 3 drops each lavander & basil + 1 oz pure jojoba oil base.
Pure Jojoba oil from gya labs as base oil to miix essences for diffuser