While it is known that it is the scents of the essential oils which produce the beneficial results, it is not known exactly how this occurs. One possible explanation is that the chemical compounds which are found in the essential oils stimulate brain waves in certain areas of the brain. These areas are the ones typically associated with emotions and feelings. The essential oils which are the aromatherapy scents are believed to react with the neurotransmitter areas of the brain to stimulate the production of changes in the blood and lymph system.
The chemical compounds found in various essential oils have been identified and grouped and generally such compounds as esters, cetones, ethers, alcohol and others have known results from the components, but it is still not known why this occurs. This is the scientific explanation of the aromatherapy scents. The spiritual or psychic application for aromatherapy scents, while similar also contains some surprises.
Aromatherapy scents are grouped as Love scents, Success scents; Well-being scents; and psychic scents.
These generally include the more floral scents, as well as those traditionally associated with romance and love, examples are rose, gardenia, jasmine and ylang ylang.
These are the invigorating, energized, active, vibrant scents. Examples are red ginger, sage, lemon and bergamot.
This group includes some of the physical protection group such as the anti-bacterials and anti-virals such as myrrh, frankincense and violet. It also includes examples of emotional well-being essential oils such as sandalwood, lilac and coconut.
Cedar, lime, musk and eucalyptus scents are all part of this group. Many are trees as opposed to plants or herbs.
While the above grouping is not comprehensive, it does show some general aromatherapy scents patterns.
Another way to look at aromatherapy scents is how they are disbursed or diffused into the air. How do they reach the receptor cells in the brain? Effectively, there are two methods of obtaining the benefits of essential oils; inhalation or absorption. Although we do use some of the essential oils in cooking and food preparation, essential oils should not be ingested. They can prove harmful and sometimes fatal if taken internally.
Inhalation of aromatherapy scents can be done by diffusion, inhalers, candles, nebulizers. Absorption is when the essential oils are absorbed into the skin through the hair follicles and thence into the bloodstream. This happens through massage treatments, lotions, creams, soaps and shower gels, as well as bath salts.