The Power Of Smell: The Aromatic Path To Focus, Connection, And Productivity With Sinead Duffy

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TBT Sinead Duffy | Power Of Smell


In the realm of smell lies the key to harnessing your focus, amplifying your productivity, and forging an unbreakable bond with the essence of who you truly are. In this captivating episode, Penny Zenker invites Sinead Duffy, a seasoned consciousness coach and founder of Yoghanda, to explore a hidden gem of human potential: our sense of smell. With over two decades of experience guiding individuals toward self-discovery, Sinead passionately discusses harnessing the hidden potential of our olfactory senses. She shares how scent, often overlooked in our fast-paced modern world, can be a gateway to heightened focus. She discusses aromatic experiences and flavors that can evoke clarity, inspire creativity, and sharpen our ability to concentrate on the task at hand. But it doesn’t stop there — Sinead reveals the transformative role of smell in fostering deeper self-connections. She discusses how certain scents can guide us on inner healing, encouraging a profound sense of well-being and balance in our lives. Join us and uncover the profound impact that aroma can have on our focus, self-connection, and productivity.

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The Power Of Smell: The Aromatic Path To Focus, Connection, And Productivity With Sinead Duffy

I am excited to find more of a unique twist to what we normally talk about on this show. I have a special guest with us, Sinead Duffy. She has been a consciousness coach for over twenty years. She loves bringing people into a deeper state of consciousness for self-connection, goal-setting, inner healing, and well-being. We all need that well-being. She believes that smell is our forgotten superpower. We are going to talk about how smell can help us to be more focused, more self-connected, and ultimately more productive. Sinead, welcome to the show.

Thanks for having me.

I read somewhere that our senses are the gateway to better connection, self-groundedness, and everything. Tell us more about that, about smell, and what smell means to you.

Senses, in general, could be considered a gateway, but I have a favorite, which is the sense of smell. What distinguishes that from the other four senses is that it has unfiltered access to the limbic brain. The limbic brain determines a lot of how we’re feeling a lot of the time. It’s the only 1 of the 5 senses that have direct access. In some way, we know bodily that smell changes how we feel instantly. It instantly transports us. We know that in some sense, but it’s not used consciously. It’s not valued. Nobody’s using it for that at this time.

They do once in a while. When somebody’s selling their house, they put vanilla in their oven so that their house smells like cookies because then, it makes you feel at home. There are some hacks that people are doing that are more conscious of it. I would agree with you that it’s highly underutilized as to where we could be using it.

Generally. I know my sister did that when she was selling her house. My mom was like, “What are you doing that for? People know that old trick.” I was like, “Mom, you’re not understanding. It doesn’t matter if people know because it’s pre-rational.” You can know all you know, but it will affect you pre-rationally. People and marketers are using it for nefarious purposes, like for dark arts, but we can use it for what we want, like for well-being. We know it transports us and changes how we feel. We can use them as anchors and triggers for what we want to achieve in our lives, like goals, focus, and all those great things that we want and need.

It’s so fascinating. Back up a second. What did you call it? Pre-rational. People were like, “Huh?” What is that? Tell us briefly because I do believe that’s important for people to understand this direct connection and how it affects them. What is pre-rational?

Our brain is so old. There was a time when we didn’t have this beautiful thinking mind that we have. We were a lot more basic way back. If we look at the evolution of our species, scientists know that at one time, our brains were made up of over 50% smell receptors because it was considered so vital to smell good food from bad, danger, and all that stuff. We needed it for survival. Our sense of smell is older than our rationality. It’s even older than our sense of time. It’s a little time portal.

What does that mean?

You know this experientially. A lot of what I do is teach people, and what I love is that you see a-ha moment. It’s all over the place. You know when you smell something and you have an association of that with another time. It’s not like you go, “That reminds me of my holiday with that beautiful night flowering jasmine.” It’s not like you speak that in that rational part of your brain. Your whole body goes, “Whoa.” Your whole body has this physiological sense of being right back there because the sense of smell is so old that your body thinks it’s in that space again. You recreate the same physiological state. It can be valuable for anchoring, triggering, and feeling what you want to feel when you want to feel it.

When you said before the beginning of time, I thought there was something even more esoteric there, like through a wormhole or something. I get it. It’s an anchor back to a previous memory and what that smell means to us. It’s fascinating. It makes total sense that people like candles because it makes them feel a certain way. I know enough to be dangerous with a lot of little things, this one included. What kinds of smells can make us more focused when we want to be focused? Tell us about different smells and what they can do for us.

I got to caveat by saying I’m super non-prescriptive. I love people to open up their own sense of consciousness. You know a lot more than you know. You’ll feel this yourself. For focus, it is things like mint and citruses. You knew that already. You see. We know a lot.

I said I know enough to be dangerous. I don’t know if that’s me or if everybody knows that.

Generally, we lack confidence in what we know. I don’t love to be like, “Use these seven oils for that.” I love people to drop into their own sense of what they think is going to slow them down. It’s going to be the frankincense and the myrrhs, these slow oils that are resins slow you down. You can feel it even when you smell them.

People have this wisdom inside them that they don’t know they have. What I love doing is on unlocking that. You’ll feel it yourself. Generally, for the uppy ones, rosemary’s a great one. Rosemary’s fantastic because it’s both uplifting but it’s also super focusing. It’s also great for getting things done. It’s great for things you got to get done. It’s great for memory also. Rosemary’s one of my favorites.

I didn’t know that one. Maybe people know mints or lavender, but rosemary is a new one for me for that. I’m going to be looking for the rosemary.

Do it. It’s beautiful and great for your immune system also.

People are feeling burnt out. They’re feeling exhausted. Other than feeling more awake, is there something for inner healing?

Yeah. There are two types of oils that I’d go for that will help with resilience. One is the big old trees. It is these big old, beautiful trunks like cedarwood and cypress. You tell by looking at them that they’re resilient. They’ve been through a lot. What the plants do in nature, they’re going to do in your nature because they perceive you as nature. Even if we don’t perceive ourselves as nature, we’re all part of nature. They help you be resilient.

TBT Sinead Duffy | Power Of Smell

Power Of Smell: What the plants do in nature, they’re going to do in your nature. They perceive you as nature even if we don’t perceive ourselves as nature. So they help you be resilient.


Also, plants and trees with super deep roots. That’s because if they’ve got deep roots, then they’re going to be resilient. There’s a beautiful one called vetiver, which is a humble grass that comes from India. It’s like a reed. It’s not one of these expensive jasmine-type fragrances. It’s quite a humble plant, but it grows super deep roots. It’s grounding also. Everything that has super deep roots is grounding because that’s how it’s molecularly built, to look down toward the ground. That’s what it does in us.

How did you get into this? Why are you so passionate about this? It shows a little.

It’s so instant and deep, and that’s such a great combination. For me, I feel like it brings us back to this feeling of being part of nature again, which we need for ourselves and our planet. I’ve been meditating and consciously training both myself and others in consciousness for so long. I was in India, doing deep meditation. I brought essential oils with me. It has nothing to do with consciousness. It was purely for self-care. They’re multi-functioning, so they’re handy for basics like tummy aches and various things.

Smell brings us back to this feeling of being part of nature again, which we really need for ourselves and our planet. Click To Tweet

While I was there in Vipassana, which is a very deep meditation, I smelt one of my oils. It brought me to what I call a backstage pass or the meditative mind. It instantly brought me to that space of meditation. I thought, “This works.” I looked into it, and there’s not a single meditative tradition ever recorded that has not used smell. They all do it.

That’s interesting.

Isn’t it? 2 out of 3 wise men, both frankincense and myrrh. It’s deep, effective, and transportative. It works on every level from the surface stuff to the spiritual.

That’s cool how you made that connection. You were already into it, and it made it that much more impactful by connecting your thoughts.

I was dabbling in it. When I went to India, I had this realization and this feeling. I came back and I was teaching my students. From then on, I always used oils. They asked me to make them, and I was making them up in an ad hoc way as and when and all that. They said, “Will you properly make some blends, please?” I then spent three years sitting in cross-legged meditation focused on the intentions of my yoga students and what they wanted and their wellness goals. From that, I created a range of oils. I have a beautiful range of oils.

Did you create them yourself?

Yeah. They’re my babies. They are stocked in stores all over the world.

Congratulations. That’s amazing. I wanted to ask you a couple of quick questions. We have a little bit of a shorter show, but what’s your definition of productivity, and why? Everybody that I’ve interviewed has had a different definition. I love hearing the nuances.

My definition of productivity is being clear on what the objective is and what you need to get done or what needs to be done. I’m non-linear in this. I’m like, “That’s what needs to get done.” It doesn’t matter to me if you don’t necessarily know the way to get there as long as you’re super clear, which is the hard part, on what the final outcome looks like, feels like, tastes like, and smells like. It is all the senses again.

I’m a little bit loose on how you get there. I’m a little bit of a manifester and have a bit of trust in the universe. When crazy stuff might come up, that’ll get you to that place. The doing is easy, but holding the vision with such clarity that you can smell it and taste it is not easy. I do a lot of work with oils and with breathwork to get that clarity. That’s, for me, what matters.

I’m with you on that. I’m writing a new book around what I call reset moments. It’s being clear about what you want, whether it’s in your relationships, work, finances, health, or whatever area. It is having these reset moments along the way to realign us. You have to know where you’re going, and that is the hardest part. I’m wondering. If I were to give reset moments a smell, being aware of when we get off track or things like that, what smell would you put to it?

I’m usually a little non-prescriptive. I have a thing called Fragramation. You put together fragrance and an affirmation. Whenever they get clarity on the outcome, it is to put a smell to that. I like to invite them to what feels like that. I’ll guide them a little bit, but they might often get these realizations of it feels like it’s a more grounding oil or it feels like it’s a real citrus oil, or whatever. They will use that for exactly the reset moments to reconnect them on that path and bring them back to the path.

I love that. I’m going to work your work into that because sometimes, I’ll tell people a word of intention. It’s very similar, but what you’re saying is even more powerful than a word because a smell goes right into your nervous system. It wakes you up to be present for what you want. I love that. I’m going to quote you. We’ll connect afterward. I wasn’t even so prepared for how excited I was going to be about this, but that’s cool. I’ll integrate that. We’ll figure out how to direct people in your direction because that is super powerful to help people to slow down and keep top of mind those things that are most important to them. It’s so easy for us to get sidetracked.

It’s this direct connection with the subconscious also. It’s the subconscious that gets the stuff done at the end of the day. When you smell that smell, it goes straight to the subconscious mind. I’ve had the most incredible experiences where I’ve planted seeds and aligned them with the fragrance. When I’m doing completely something else, I can feel that working and happening. It’s almost because I’ve kept myself busy with something else. It’s happening at the subconscious level. It’s very powerful.

What didn’t I ask you that you need to share that you haven’t, if there is anything? What have I left out?

The most important thing for me is that people would be open to valuing their sense of smell and inviting it into their life in an intentional way for getting stuff done. Instant and deep is a great combination.

Give us the URL.

I’ve got a couple of URLs. I’ve launched a course called My beautiful brand of oils is called Yoghanda. It is a beautiful Sanskrit name meaning fragrance and the use of fragrance for mind, body, wellness, and manifesting these beautiful intentions.

Thank you so much for being here. I feel like these twenty minutes together probably are going to have a huge impact in changing my life by bringing smell much more into my day-to-day. Thank you so much.

You’re so welcome. Thank you.

Thank you, all, for being here. Maybe you’re someone like me where I buy these candles, but I hold them and don’t use them because I hold things that are special. They’re exactly what we want to be using. Let’s all make a commitment to bring smell intentionally into our lives and let it do its work with its superpower. I’m super excited to put this into practice. I hope you all are as well. I’ll see you in the next episode.


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About Sinead Duffy

TBT Sinead Duffy | Power Of SmellSinead has been a consciousness coach for over 20 years. She loves bringing people to a deeper state of consciousness for self-connection, goal-setting, inner-healing and wellbeing. She believes that smell is our forgotten Superpower and connecting with essential oils at a much deeper level than most people are currently – can be totally transformational to our personal effectiveness, our wellbeing and sense of belonging in the world.

Sinead also has a brand of intuitive blends called yogandha, as well as online courses
She does one-on-one consciousness coaching – particularly with women in midlife and beyond – as they are already at a deeper place in consciousness so can generally progress very quickly and beautifully.


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