This question comes up quite frequently, so we are happy to discuss it here.
Q (by Renee Highlen Gabet): If one has lost their smell does aromatherapy still work with the emotions like uplifting or physical like relaxing?
A: As far as we know, psychological effects do not take place for someone who has completely lost their sense of smell, but the physiological effects still do.
In other words, the body will react to essential oil constituents in the usual ways, but the mind not. When we inhale an essential oil there is a two-fold reaction – a physiological one, which is hard-wired, and a psychological one which is not, and which varies from person to person.
For those of us with an intact sense of smell it may be interesting to note that an essential oil (or blend) cannot have one effect on the mind and the opposite effect on the body. Also bear in mind that psychological effects partly depend on our state of mind and may be different at different times.