In our bodies, everything is connected. Our sense of touch changes our mood. Our sight influences flavor. Smells transport us to a fond memory. Tastes dictate what we put in our bodies, and how we feel.

Today we speak with the founder of natural skincare company Palermo Body, Jessica Morelli, to learn how aromatherapy affects our mental and physical health.

Splendid Spoon: Hi Jessica! Tell us about your journey into the world of aromatherapy.

Jessica Morelli: I knew about essential oils and their uses while growing up. However, my obsession really began nine years ago, when I started making skin care products. Initially I blended essential oils merely to smell pretty, but this blossomed into a fascination with aromatherapy and the benefits of synergy blends.

SS: Aromatherapy can alter our mood. Can it affect physical health too?

JM: Absolutely! Aromatherapy is a holistic way to heal mind and body. Essential oils can be used to treat infections, burns, and other skin ailments. Additionally, when applied to the skin, they move to your bloodstream where they help release muscle tension and improve circulation.

SS: How do you create your aromatherapy oil blends?

JM: Like all my products, I first determine its purpose. I then choose key ingredients based on their benefits to the product’s function. Of course I want them to smell good, but my true goal is to create effective products and experiences.

SS: What’s a simple way to incorporate aromatherapy into our self-care routine?

JM: Skin care, aromatherapy rollers, or essential oil diffusers are great options. I always recommend starting with something you think will easily fit into your current routine. For me, that was skin care.

SS: Do you have any favorite oils?

JM: Geranium is my all time favorite. It’s an antidepressant so it always boosts my mood.

SS: How do we discover what scents resonate most strongly with ourselves?

JM: Visit a shop that carries essential oils (i.e. your local health food store) so you can smell each one. Essential oils often smell very different to what you expect! For example, fresh basil is one of my favorite scents, but basil essential oil is wildly different (and is one of my least favorite oils!).

Once you’ve found your favorites, buy a few and get blending. It will take some experimenting to learn which are more fragrant or subtle. If you use a diffuser, place about 10 drops in the diffuser. If applying them to your skin, always dilute them in a carrier oil (like coconut oil), first.

SS: How do you use aromatherapy to stay grounded?

JM: I always carry our Tranquility Oil in my purse. It’s great to roll on while waiting for the subway, in an over perfumed Uber (we’ve all been there), or when I get home and need to reset my senses.

SS: How can aromatherapy be used as part of a meditation or mindfulness ritual?

JM: I love using aromatherapy rollers for meditation. I roll them on my pulse points as usual, but add an extra dab on my third eye. It’s such a lovely way to begin a meditation practice. Also, using an essential oil diffuser is incredibly soothing while meditating, although it takes a bit more preparation than a roller.