When asked which sense could be dispensed with if needs be, most people would initially opt for their sense of smell, but our sense of smell is invaluable to our safety, our appetite and our emotional and psychological wellbeing.
Without smell we would not be able to detect food that is off, smoke from a house fire, or gas from a leaking pipe. Without smell our appetite would be less regulated and we would only be able to distinguish between salt, bitter, sweet, sour and savoury, we would not have the added benefit of flavour.
Perhaps most importantly however is the fact that inhaling specific aromas, especially those which come from good quality essential oils can have a profound effect on the way we feel. Let's take lavender oil for example.
When we inhale lavender oil (two drops on a tissue or six on an incense burner with water is all you need) the Raphe Nucleus gland in the brain becomes stimulated which then releases the neuro chemical Serotonin into the blood stream which brings about feelings of relaxation, alleviates anger and aids restful sleep.
For more information on the healing powers of smell read 'Mrs Darley's Pagan Healing Wisdom'