For the Love of Lilac

Some people think that I’m super sensitive to fragrance.  And it’s easy to understand why. I can sniff out anyone’s laundry detergent floating on the breeze or scented hand soap on my daughter after school.

The word sensitive in our society denotes that something is wrong. Being sensitive to anything is usually considered a fault or weakness.

But when it comes to fragrance, the fragrance of a flower or a chemically made fragrance, being sensitive is a very good thing.

Lilacs have been in bloom here recently.  My neighbor and I swoon over the scent of them wafting between our houses. Lilacs remind us of special times in our childhoods. When cut and placed in the kitchen, their scent in the morning lifts my spirit. And catching the sweet scent of lilac during story time in the hammock makes the moment even more magical.  I’m delighted that I can smell even the faintest hint of lilac.

Benefits of the Olfactory Sense

Our olfactory sense, or sense of smell, is for enjoyment, health and protection (among other benefits).  I enjoy the scent of real lilac, the salty ocean and chocolate.  When I smell dinner cooking it begins the process of digestion. And when a scent is added to natural gas, it can warn us of a dangerous natural gas leak because we associate that added scent with a gas leak.

Continue reading “Fragrance Sensitivity is a Good Thing. Really.”

Which contributes more to Smog?

Vehicle emissions or household products. The answer will surprise you.

Last summer was an unforgettable summer of fires and lingering smoke in the Pacific Northwest.  Having grown up here I can say that weeks of clouds and falling ashes as a result of wildfires is not a normal occurrence. The one exception being the eruption of Mount St. Helen’s in 1980. That’s a different story – and no, I don’t remember it.

On beautiful mornings like this morning, however, I have started noticing a lingering smog through the trees toward the horizon. And since it’s not fire season, I have to wonder if my emerald studded city is going to one day have the air quality that I’ve always associated with Southern California.

Continue reading “Be the Change: Smog”