The pheromone scents of our nearest and dearest can be among the most comforting smells on earth to us. Nearest and dearest may include family and friends, carers and teachers. This is one of the reasons why being physically close to someone we love and trust can be emotionally supportive and the powerful effects of a simple act such as offering a hug or sitting by someone’s side should not be underestimated. When the comforting person is not present in the flesh, their pheromones may be offered to provide reassurance and comfort and these can be made available in a number of ways:
What you need
A ziplock bag to keep pheromone scented items in.
Guidance and instructions
- Ask their loved one to provide a pillow case they have slept on for a few nights inside a ziplock bag. Our necks and the top of our heads produce pheromones and a pillow that has been slept on for a few nights will be imbued with these and can be taken out of the bag and sniffed for reassurance.
- Ask their loved one to provide a t-shirt they have worn for several hours, this will smell like them and can be offered as a comfort, which may be particularly beneficial to someone who is agitated or anxious.
- Find out what perfume or cologne a person’s loved one wears and offer that sensitively as a reminder of that person. Be careful with this, and observant for negative reactions, as you do not want to distress someone by making them think someone is there only to have them be disappointed when they are not.
What to observe, assess and record
- How is the person before you offer them the scent?
- How are they whilst smelling the scent? Do you notice any changes?
- How are they after smelling the scent?
- Does their reaction to being offered the scent change over time?
In ‘Sensory-being for Sensory Beings’ I describe how to make a smell-noodle to enable the comforting scents of loved ones to be kept with the person and used at any time.
© Joanna Grace: Sensory Engagement and Inclusion Specialist, author, trainer, TEDx speaker and founder of The Sensory Projects.
For more guidance and information on how to make objects for sensory-being and what types of sensory experience are most likely to be accessible, read Sensory-being for Sensory Beings by Joanna Grace, published by Routledge
Connect with Jo on social media to continue this sensory conversation:
Created October 2020