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Good Scents
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Each time I smell lilacs, I have positive memories of my grandmother from childhood. She loved to cut bunches of this flowering woody bush when they were in spring bloom and place them in a large cut glass vase on her kitchen table. She died when I was only nine years old, but I still have warm thoughts of this special lady when I smell the pale purple flowers.

Smell has more power than you might think. Research conducted by Haviland-Jones demonstrates that even a non-detectable level of flower scent can influence a person’s behavior. “Floral odors can make you happy, floral odors promote social interaction,” they report.1

Did you know smelling flowers can lower your stress level? Scientists in Japan have gathered evidence that breathing certain fragrances can alter your blood chemistry and reduce stress levels. Aromatherapy has been around for centuries, but these researchers are documenting ways that smelling fragrant plant oils can help you fight inflammation, lift your mood, and help you sleep.2

Another fascinating study by Park and Mattson (2008) revealed that if hospital rooms have bright flowers and potted plants, that patients need less postoperative pain medication. Their blood pressure and heart rates are also lower. Recovering patients reported being less anxious and had more positive spirits than those without flowers in their rooms.3 


God has created us with incredible abilities to see millions of different colors and sounds, but did you know we can distinguish more than one million scents? Our sense of smell is much greater and is more complex to study since the fragrance of even a rose can be made up of over 275 difference components.

Jesus has been referred to as the “rose of Sharon” and the “lily of the valleys” (Song of Solomon 2:1). Perhaps the message of seeing the beauty of Christ overlooks the fragrance of His presence. Paul says that when we “walk in love” we are like a “sweet-smelling aroma” (Ephesians 5:2).

Someone once said that fresh lilacs smell like sweet heaven on a perfect spring day. When I smell these beautiful flowers, I’m taken back to the one of the most peaceful times in my childhood. So it’s a good idea to stop and smell the flowers. It makes good scents!

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By Curtis Rittenour. Copyright © 2014 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelinesScripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

1 http://www.mnn.com/health/fitness-well-being/stories/scientists-say-smelling-flowers-can-make-you-friendlier
2 http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090722110901.htm
3 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sally-augustin/health-benefits-flowers_b_2992014.html

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