Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Fuel Your Creativity By Scent

By Morgan Tarpley Smith
Aromatherapy is not something this writer has paid much mind to over the years. I don’t particularly care for candles, and I only use a select few lotions and products of that nature, but the more I’ve heard about essential oils the more I’ve become interested in them.
The first time I saw an essential oil diffuser I was backstage on opening night of my theater group’s latest production. It was a tremendously challenging play, and we needed all the help we could get, so one of my fellow actors broke out her diffuser that puffed a little trail of pleasant-smelling near-translucent smoke into the air for boosting memory and mental clarity.
My diffuser at my bedside along with some research & reading
Over a year later, I decided to try it out myself. I bought a diffuser along with Eucalyptus and Vanilla essential oils. I’ve used it nearly everyday in the evening before bed to relax. It’s really comforting, and the visual puffs of steam combined with the sound and smell add to the calming effect.
My writing partner recently sent me a fascinating article about essential oils to use for focus and creativity for writers. I definitely wanted to learn more about it, and I thought so would you. The link to the article is here.
“Helping ourselves be creative as writers is not always as hard as we might think, we can of course challenge ourselves to try new things, explore new ideas and try new writing places, all of these can help with the flow of new ideas aiding our creative process immensely. But a very simple method to encourage creativity may be resting right under our noses.
“Aromatherapy has been credited for many different uses, from heath, relaxation, massage, creativity and focus and as a writer I know that I am always looking for a way to expand on those last two items. Creativity and focus.
“Essential oils have long been known to be able to elicit emotional response in many of us, helping to create moods, relax and of course uplift our mental attitude all of which can be a great aid in helping with the creative process of a writer. By using our sense of smell as a tool for creativity we are aiding our own natural senses with the process of memory, stimulating our emotions and activating our brain via the limbic system. The limbic system is responsible for pleasure, emotion and of course memory, the more times that we have smelt a particular scent the more we are able to retain a clear picture of a past memory or experience, create patterns of new habits and entice our senses towards the different moods and energy needed for the creative process that is writing.
“Choosing the right essential oils for you - There are so many essential oils available to us in this modern world that it may be a bit confusing to know which ones are right for you and the mood you are hoping to encourage within your creativity. So take a peek at the list below for some of the best essential oils known for their ability to promote focus and creativity.
Bergamot - this wonderful essential oils is a great aid with keeping you alert and focused helping to keep your flow of creativity constant, while keeping stress levels from rising
Cinnamon - a great essential oil for helping to raise focus and feelings of happiness as it helps to lift and motivate our senses, known for its ability to promote love and harmony
Cloves - This essential oil is well known for its ability to help with creativity and helping to create a greater understanding of self all the while creating an environment of contentment which is very pleasant to work within
Cypress - an essential oil which is great for its ability to help you focus while boosting your self confidence and self awareness in a calm relaxing manner
Eucalyptus - A great fresh smelling oil that is very useful in boosting creativity, understanding, mental clarity and even enthusiasm a great aid for many writers
Lemon - As an essential oil lemon is great for helping with concentration, creativity, focus and even helps create a joy positive attitude
Frankincense - an uplifting essential oil that is great for creativity, performance, concentration and helps to provide a joyful peaceful environment to write
Geranium - a great oil for helping with the self-esteem while creating a relaxing uplifting atmosphere (mixed into a carrier oil and applied is also great for relieving the symptoms of headache)
Grapefruit - a very useful essential oil, grapefruit helps with performance, alertness, confidence and of course inspiration
Jasmine - One of my personal favorites this essential oil is fantastic with boosting your confidence, raising your happiness and of course helping with creativity and performance. A must have in my opinion
Neroli - A good essential oil that aids in many types of creativity fostering a good sense of peace and personal contentment helping to calm nerves and reduce stress
Peppermint - A great essential oil for renewing the mind and lifting a flagging spirit helping to create an alert mind ready for new things
Rose - This essential oil is often used in massage for its ability to uplift the spirit and create feelings of romance and love, it is also very good in helping us writers to create in a joyful happy manner, especially if romance is your genre
Sandalwood - is a great essential oil for writers who are struggling with self doubt or writers block. This wonderful oil is very useful for lifting flagging spirits, instilling self confidence and self awareness while creating a peaceful work environment for which you can start afresh in

“Scent is a powerful tool in activating many different parts of our brains, so when choosing your oils start with the ones that appeal to you the most, and slowly experiment with others as you go. As time progresses you may even find yourself combining your favourites into scents that are all your own…”

Do you use essential oils? If so, have you used any listed above? Which oils are your favorite to use for writing?

Morgan Tarpley Smith is an award-winning newspaper reporter and photographer in Louisiana. She is also an aspiring inspirational novelist. Besides writing and traveling to over a dozen countries, her interests include acting in her local theater, genealogy, photography, and singing. She resides in Louisiana with her husband. For more information about Morgan, connect with her on FacebookTwitterPinterest, or Goodreads.


  1. Interesting post, Morgan. My daughters both use oils a lot. My experiences are limited, but I do use lemon/thieves/oregano to fight off colds and flus. And I know that certain scents leave me with a positive feeling (I bought some hand soap from Bath & Body Works at Christmas—Cookies for Santa—and it made me smile every time I used it).

    1. That's great, Jan! Hand soaps are nice too! :)