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Olear Scents Channel The Emotional Power Of Smell

Here, we catch up with Tatiana Godoy Betancur, founder of Olear Scents, to discuss how smells can help us embrace, even seize, intense periods of change.

Photos by
Kevin Buitrago

[Tatiana Godoy Betancur started Olear Scents as a means of sharing her appreciation and fascination with the healing potential of plants. Her company focuses on small-batch and hand-blended botanical scents that utilize organic, wild-harvested, and sustainable plant material. The name translates from Spanish to: “forming waves as in the sea; to anoint; to flutter.” Apt nomenclature highlighting the moon’s impact on not just tides, but our emotions. Betancure tells all at a collaborative workshop during our Buffy Soft–Space pop-up in SoHo.]

Here, we catch up with Tatiana discuss how scents support us in taking a moment to recognize and embrace change.

  1. soft—space

    What inspired you to work with aromas?

  2. godoy betancur

    A botanist friend introduced me to essential oils and botanical extracts and I became interested in their benefits for topical use. Starting with skincare, I started to explore the ways these extracts made me feel, and to learn more about how they supported psychological and emotional well-being. I decided to study aromatherapy in 2012, during a time of big transition, when I learned that my father had cancer. I delved into how aromatherapy could have an effect on and support emotional states, as well as how scents can become associated with a specific moment. I developed a blend for my dad which supported release and acceptance of transition. Now every time I smell it, I think of my dad and the beauty of letting go. A few months after my dad passed away, I finished my clinical certification in aromatic studies.

  3. Soft—Space

    What sorts of things have you learned so far?

  4. godoy betancur

    Much about olfaction, its language, and its connection to memory. In my practice, I’ve learned that most people are very passive when it comes to the sense of smell. If and when we do think about smell, we consider it mostly through a closed and conditioned nose, one that has learned to make associations regarding smell that are rarely based on one’s personal preferences.

  1. soft—space

    What motivates you to seek out naturally occurring scents?

  2. godoy betancur

    I’ve always been put off by synthetic scents. If I’m around strong synthetic fragrances, I usually get headaches and nasal allergies. I often find them to be invasive and offensive. Botanical scents are subtle and gentle, but more importantly, they have therapeutic benefits that synthetics do not. The wholeness of the materials that I use are important for the purposes of my aromatherapy practice, so I prioritize the quality of botanical ingredients.

  3. soft—space

    What evolution have you seen in people's feelings about aroma therapy?

  4. godoy betancur

    The more curious and aware people become about health and how the products we put on our bodies can affect us, the more that people become interested in alternative ways to support health. Aromatherapy as a practice is a lot more popular and common than it was five years ago. In large part, this is due to how unregulated essential oils are and makes aromatherapy easily accessible. I’m wary of aromatherapy being this accessible, because of the amount of misinformation and irresponsible advice that flood the internet. I’m very concerned that people think that if a substance comes from a plant that it must be safe.

  1. soft—space

    How did you start the chakras line?

  2. godoy betancur