Touching Stories - multi-sensory stories for people with intellectual disabilities

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The way a story smells

A few weeks ago, I sang the praises of our favorite hardware store for finding all sorts of pieces for our multi-sensory stories that felt good. (  I also talked about my love of the percussion section of the local music store for finding the way a story sounds. (
Today, I got to do one of my favorite job as a Touching Stories storyteller.  In the aromatherapy section of Isis Books in Englewood (  I get to explore how stories smell.
The geniuses at Isis can listen to me describe what I want people to be smelling -- a pine tree, a lilac bush, the spices of India, apple pie, rain -- and taking their little blue and green glass bottles, they mix up something that is complex, layered, and exactly what I am looking for.  Today, I asked for apple pie.  The aromatherapist grinned and said "I know exactly how to do that."
She mixed some of this, some of that, a little cinnamon, a touch of nutmeg, a splash of apple and... she placed the bottle under my nose.  I inhaled and smelled apple pie, fresh out of the over. Then, as i was lowering the bottle, I caught the last scent -- vanilla.  Apple pie ala mode!
We use essential oils for our story kits.  The aromas are more authentic than anything we could find in synthetic scents, and they don't break down, which means that the scent will be as wonderful, as evocative six months or six years from now as it is today.
It's more expensive to do it this way. It would be cheaper and easier to use air fresheners or candle scents, but the difference is unbelievably worth it.
Please help us continue to provide the highest quality sensory materials to our audiences by donating at

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