According the Rudolph Steiner, the sense of smell has a direct impact on memory and thus is a great ally in the educational process. However, he does warn to not over do it. I think it is important to find subtle smells and use sparingly. Remember that an adult’s sense of smell is much duller than a child’s.
One of my mentors in my training said in early childhood it is important to stick to one smell as a teacher. It is comforting to the children if they can count on your smell being consistent and reliable. It is an aspect of safety.
Additionally, it is through the sense of smell we experience the quality of things and our very personal relationship to them. I think it is important to get the best possible scents in as natural a state as possible. Quality is imperative.
Scents for the Teacher:
The smells of the classroom and the teacher are such an important of the environment. I receive my students at the door of my classroom and many give me a big hug. Their noses go right into my belly. I think is so nice to make sure it is a lovely smelling hug!!! My Waldorf mentor suggested the Moors Lavender Body Oil as a personal scent. It is lovely. I have used it for years. You can buy it at Dr. Hauschka’s.
Smells for the Classroom:
One of my current favorite cleaning soaps is Meyers Basil Cleanser. It is such a homely, lovely scent. I like it much better than Meyer’s Lavender Cleanser which seems a bit too sweet.
Another way I like scenting the air is with a candle warmer. It gently releases the scent into the atmosphere and seems more gentle than an essential oil diffuser. This year I am using a subtle cinnamon scent that gives a homey feel. It lasts and lasts so it is very economical as well.