Q: Last night I went to a class and read that if you are smelling an oil while you study and bring the same oil to a test it may help you remember the answers, So I put Geranium on my skin. I also had 3 testers in my purse under the heater in the car, (geranium, benzoin, and lavender) so my friend could pick one out to use while studying. She chose lavender...when I got in the car and smelled the oils, I moved my purse because I felt ill. Do you think it had to do with smelling the combination of 3 oils or from putting geranium on my skin? Could it go through your skin and effect you that way? I woke up still feeling a little icky but a better.
A: Use all essential oils in moderation. Do not smell more that 2 or 3 at any one time. Heating really puts the aromas in the air. Yes, the "smell" trick works because it links the two things - memory & smell. But, it may be a good idea to use "stimulating" essential oils such as Peppermint or Citrus (Bergamot, Lemon, Sweet Orange, Tangerine, etc.) and then only in small amounts.
Peppermint will also help you stay alert while Lavender will relax you and may make you feel drowsy. Remember, this is STRONG stuff. One drop can be quite sufficient for many applications. Yes, it does penetrate straight through the skin. In fact, you get much more response from skin (massage) application than through smell. Perhaps putting a drop or two on a facial tissue and then placing that in a plastic baggie would be a better way to carry the "memory" with you. You might also want to try these portable aromatherapy inhalers.