According to the Met Office, our sense of smell is much more acute in spring, because there is usually more moisture in the air. Those tiny water droplets become the transport vehicles that carry a whole bouquet of lovely scents from springtime flowers, fresh leaves and buds, rich loamy soil and young green grass right into our nostrils.

But the benefits don’t end at our noses.  In fact there are hundreds of scientific studies that confirm the deeper healing powers of certain aromas on our physical bodies as well as mental health.

The practice of aromatherapy – in which natural oils and extracts from plants are massaged into the skin or inhaled through steam – confirms the powerful healing potential of particular scents.

Fragrance has been used in healing for thousands of years, going back to  ancient civilisations including Egypt, China and India, to treat everything from physical disorders such as headaches and muscular pain to insomnia, eczema, stress-induced anxiety, depression and digestive problems .

But by far the easiest way to experience some ‘aromatherapy’ is to get out into the great outdoors and soak up the symphony of scents that will be wafting across the Island from about now.  Starting with the distinctive white flowers of blackthorn, followed by snowy clouds of tree blossom on cherry plums, wild cherries and later on, rowan.

One of the most familiar olfactory experiences on the Island in spring, is a leisurely walk through a woodland filled with native wild garlic and its distinctive and pungent aroma, especially after rain.

The scent is richest when it first comes into leaf in March, and mellows as it puts on its show of starry white flowers from April onwards. 

Later in spring, we can look forward to one of the season’s greatest treats – the spectacular sight and scent of a carpet of bluebells. Flowering from April to May, delicate bluebells are one of the last spring flowers to bloom before the tree canopy closes above them.

Sniff them while you can – and feel that healing power!