Digital Scent vs Analog Scent

Analog clock - great for planning ahead

Analog clock – great for planning ahead


Well I’m not sure if I can use the analog/digital signal to describe scent but I’m gong to anyway. It is usually applied to sound recording and clocks at a very basic level so check out this description:


“The difference between analog and digital technologies is that in analog technology, information is translated into electric pulses of varying amplitude. In digital technology, translation of information is into binary format (zero or one) where each bit is representative of two distinct amplitudes.”


Something stuck in my mind a while ago when I was talking to someone about my need to use an analog clock while I was doing treatments so I could plan as I was working. For example I always look up at the clock to note in my mind how long I’ve been massaging the right leg and how much time I need to spend on the back, or do I need to leave more time for the face and head, and so on. He said analog is great for planning ahead whereas digital is about right now. I loved that description!

Digital clock - the time is now!

Digital clock – the time is now!

So with analog we can quickly see what has gone before and what is to come. It shows us a range of past, present and future (but of course that is an incorrect description because we know in quantum physics all those possibilities exist at once).

With digital we see only now! That’s cool because in quantum physics that’s all we have.


Smelling an essential oil could be an analog experience - pic via

Smelling an essential oil could be an analog experience – pic via

Ok so here’s my application of signal to scent:

Essential oils come from a natural source even though they undergo a process of some sort. They are made up of molecules that have been present in a living organism and carry an energetic force. This magic that they hold can be used a tool to access higher consciousness via the brain and can also effect the body this way too. Scent is a powerful mechanism that can transform our physicality and our spirit and sub conscious too, and with essential oils we are treated to the divine scent of mother nature.

When I first started using essential oils after a weekend workshop with two amazing Australian aromatherapists, I was shocked to hear that neither of them could use perfume anymore, after using essential oils. This was 20 years ago now and of course I am exactly the same. This is because essential oils carry this invisible life force and they are undeniably powerful. They give us a range of scent from the first whiff to the lingering notes on our bodies. They connect us to past experiences and allow us to see potential for the future. They give a complexity of scent that only exists in nature and that can never be replicated, even by the masters of chemistry (according to Luca Turin a master Perfumer).

To me essential oils are ANALOG. They have range and are complex. They are old school.

Perfume is digital - pic via

Perfume seems to be digital to me – pic via


Perfume is still absorbed through the nasal cavity into the brain and can also connect us to experiences of the past, present and future – as can any smell. Perfumes that are available today will be mostly made up of molecules that have been created in a lab, and that are quite precise in their scent. So you may have hundreds of different molecules that go into a perfume and it’s the master perfumers who will conduct this symphony of scent.

People all over the world love perfume but I don’t. I don’t like the alcohol as a base. I don’t like cold feeling it gives me and the way there seems to be too many conflicting ideas in one spritz. There are, of course, some perfumes that are way better than the dross out there. With perfume there are many precise notes blended to create the scent – but usually it’s too many.

To me perfumes are a DIGITAL scent. They are precise and do not have complex ranges, as they have many digital signals mixed together. There doesn’t seem to be any expansiveness or invitation to connect with the universe.

Hey, but if it’s digital it must be about NOW, which can only be a good thing. They are modern and contemporary, and fall in line with our digital era.

There’s a place for both in our world – let’s never lose the analog!

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