Stop And Smell The Lavenders

March 15, 2019 / Spark Magazine

I’ve always felt like a fashionable person. Now, the extent of my fashion hasn’t always been the best, and looking back I’d be the first to attest that I’ve worn some… questionable… outfits. However, I pride myself in always being able to express myself to the fullest without reservations. Over the years, I’ve worn the clothes I liked without caring what other people think. Instead, I focused on how those clothes made me feel. The clothes I’ve worn have been the one thing in my life that has always managed to raise the self-confidence I have with my body. With this said, I’ve always felt like there was something missing. From the short shorts of my summers to the velvet pants of my winters, my outfits have always been just shy of perfect. This almost-perfect feeling was something I always questioned and never knew how to solve. Until I discovered the world of scents.

My journey began when I realized that I needed a signature scent. Honestly, the realization came nonchalantly, but looking back it was a gateway into the drug that is the world of scent. I remember the day I realized, “hey, I don’t really have a personal favorite cologne, do I? I should get one…” That week, I found some random cologne from one of the little box collection of sample cologne bottles I’d gotten from some distant relative for Christmas, and I labeled it as MY COLOGNE and wore it for months until it ran out. To be honest, I don’t even remember what it was called or what it smelled like, but that was my introduction to scents. Wow, what a boring article. Just kidding, this is just the beginning.

After MY COLOGNE ran out, I faced a predicament. Should I search for yet another sample bottle of cologne to label as my own? Will I even like it? Did I even like the original MY COLOGNE? No, I realized. MY COLOGNE was just something that smelled cute but I had no true connection to it. I had the realization that I needed to find something that I truly enjoyed wearing, just like the clothes I wore. I needed a smell that I identified with. Thus, my true search for the perfect personal scent began.

The search was long, it was hard, it gave me headaches. I looked everywhere for the best cologne for me, without success. I was looking for something more natural, something that wasn’t so complex – I’m not a complex person! Why would my signature scent be complex? Then, I discovered the joys of essential oils. Sure, colognes and perfumes are cute, but essential oils, essential oils are the things of gods for your nose. I found essential oils first in my never-ending search for natural ways to treat my teenage acne. I read that tea tree oil helped clear problem acne and I used it almost nightly to do so. The smell was horrendous, but it was completing a task for me, so I didn’t mind it. It wasn’t until I actually looked into tea tree oil that I realized that people used it because they thought it smelled good! Personally, I hated it, but hey, who am I to judge? I dove into this world of essential oils being used as a perfume and was awestruck. There were so many options, so many combinations. Is this what I’ve been looking for? Spoiler alert: Yes, it was.

As soon as I got the chance, I went to Whole Foods and explored the essential oil aisle, with a goal in mind: I WOULD find my signature scent. Another spoiler alert: I found it. The first oil I picked up was lavender oil, and it was love at first whiff. Lavender oil isn’t quite the same as the generic lavender smell itself. It’s more intense and less flowery. It contains a blend of masculine and feminine scents: the frontward smell of lavender flowers, but also an undertone of a woody scent of sorts. I knew this was the smell for me. Lavender is a calming scent, the oil itself is usually used by people looking to calm down. I’m a naturally calm person and the way the smell comforted me made me feel safe. It reminded me of home, of the springtime when my mom would use lavender-scented cleaning products to tidy the kitchen, which in turn filled the entire house with the lighthearted smell of new life, of fresh lavender flowers.

I use lavender oil daily now. I keep a roll-on bottle of it in my pocket every day. It has become my signature scent. I use it when I’m stressed and even when I’m just missing the smell of it. Its blend of masculine and feminine reminds me of myself and my style. Its calming nature is the same feeling that I hope I am able to give to people when I’m around them. Lavender has become the fourth dimension to my personality. It has become a finishing touch to my outfits. It is something I’ve grown to love. However, my obsession with smells hasn’t stopped with lavender. I’ve managed to integrate multiple different scents into my life.

Besides lavender, rose oil is the most used scent in my life. It’s similar to lavender in that its smell is a blend of flower smells with wood undertones, but its scent has different effects for me. Where lavender calms me down, rose makes me confident. Every morning, after I’ve gotten ready for the day and just before I head out, I give myself a generous spritzing of rose water on my face, partly to moisturize my skin but mostly because of the smell. It helps me to feel confident every morning. It helps me feel attractive and presentable. Rose has become a ritualistic part of my routine. It wakes me up and reminds me that the day is mine to claim.

I’ve also learned to use scents in order to help me. I use peppermint oil when I need to focus. My room reeks of peppermint during finals week because of this. Peppermint oil helps me to feel professional and it helps me to focus on what I’m studying. Similarly, the smell of lemon helps me when I’m feeling down. If I’ve had a bad few days, I put a few drops of lemon oil into my diffuser to remind me of the summertime. Lemon helps me to realize that better days are to come, that the sun is just around the corner. It reminds me of better days. In finding my favorite scents, I’ve managed to make my life that much more enjoyable. The scents we enjoy are too often ignored in our lives; few people know what their personal favorite smells are. If everyone were to go out and find a smell that they loved and integrated it into their life, I believe that the world would be a much more enjoyable (and smelly, in a good way) place for each of our individual experiences. So, go out and smell the roses! Or, if you feel like it, the lavenders! •

Written by: Ty Marsh

Graphics by: Adriana Torres

Ty Marsh is a first-year student from small town, Texas hoping to transfer into the Journalism major next semester. In his spare time, Ty enjoys listening to all types of music. He has gone to a concert every weekend this semester, and he hopes to keep his streak alive for as long as he can. When not at concerts, you can usually find him at thrift stores buying the most ironic, yet still cute, pieces of clothing that he can find.
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