I was once on an ocean cruise that I really didn’t want to be on. I found myself saying yes in honor of a special birthday for a special friend. After all, I could use some time to relax.

But I soon learned to have the time, doesn’t necessarily mean I’m going to be able. So it was that on the third day, having consumed all the food, beverage, and comradery I could wish for, I was still wound tighter than a top. Someone recommended the world-class SPA. Ah. Maybe a massage is the answer.

Upon entering, everything about it impressed me. Soft rolling music that rose and fell with the sea, impeccable furnishings, plushy soft robes, gorgeous masseuses from all over the world. But the smell was what struck me the most. What was it? I had to know.

Lavender essential oil misting from the concierge desk. Heaven! I felt so understood…the people delivering this service knew who I was and exactly what I needed. Tense-muscle looks are apparently understood internationally: se-detendre in French; relajarse in Spanish; rilissare in Italian.

“Relax,” the masseuse encouraged. The massage had begun. A fragrance diffuser was running in the room.

There’s a host of essential oils that are wonderfully blissful for diffusing AND, when diluted, massaging. But I profess lavender as my favorite. There’s not a time that I detect it that I don’t revisit that day floating at sea, and smelling how to relax.

By Jean VanGrey for The Gift of Scent.com