Distinctive smells have long been associated with a variety of paranormal and psychic phenomena. Some psychic mediums with this unusual talent rely on their ability to ‘smell spirit’ in order to validate loved ones who have crossed over, or to identify the presence of spiritual entities. Some psychics also use this extra-sensory skill to gain insight into events of the past, present and future. It is an unusual psychic ability known as clairolfaction, the gift of 'clear' smelling.
Clairolfactory psychics are in essence able to ’smell energy’. Everything in the Universe consists of energy vibrating at different frequencies. It may very well be that with clairolfaction certain energy vibrations could stimulate the odor-detecting receptors of the human nervous system in people who are gifted. A recent scientific discovery supports this belief.
For a long time scientists proposed that our sense of smell is based on the shape of the air-borne molecules that make up different odors. However, scientist Dr. Luca Turin proposes that our ability to smell may instead be based on how these molecules ‘quiver and shake’.
Luca believes that the vibrational spectrum of a molecule is the actual property that is detected by the nose, and then interpreted by the brain. In other words, it is possible that our sense of smell is based on vibration, in the same way our ability to see or hear or sense is made possible by our brain’s interpretation of different vibrations.
Experiencing certain smells in the presence of spiritual manifestations is a common occurrence for psychic mediums and paranormal investigators. According to an informal survey of more than 2000 mediums worldwide, it is estimated that approximately 90% of all mediums experience psychic smelling from time to time. Mediums may typically smell things like an aunt’s favorite perfume, or your uncle’s cigarette smoke. This makes it very easy to identify who a spiritual message is coming from.
The first thing I said to my client was: “Whoever this guy is that you were hoping to connect with, I can tell you one thing for certain…he must have smoked like a chimney!” She was not sure whether she should laugh or cry. Apparently he smoked two to three packets a day!
But smoke and perfume are not the only smells that psychic mediums experience. We also smell odors associated with places or events. For example, the distinctive smell of someone’s place of work, or their home, or the odor of fireworks or burning candles, for example, which may indicate a certain holiday or celebration. When I do psychic readings I typically experience smells that have no personal association for me, but they are meaningful for my clients.
Smells I have encountered include flowers (especially roses), perfume or cologne, cigarette smoke, leather, incense, spices, fresh bread, fast food (hamburgers and pizza), animals (dogs, cats and horses), sea water and wet sand. I find that the smell of roses or flowers often is most intense when someone passed away very recently.
At times some of these odors can be very unpleasant, but fortunately that does not happen very often in my case. Foul smells I have had to endure have included urine, dirty laundry and chemicals (alcohol, turpentine and disinfectant). But I have also heard of people smelling even worse things, like ‘burning rubber’, ‘wet dog’ and ‘rotting eggs’! Paranormal investigators sometimes report the smell of sulphur as one of the classic signs of haunting.
But, surely there are other ways for spirit to make contact, especially if a less than pleasant odor is involved? Why does spirit communicate with us through smell? Well, from your own experience you will know that smell is indeed a very powerful sense! It is no accident that we have popular sayings like “I smell a rat” or “she came out of it smelling like roses” or “it smells to high heaven” or “something smells fishy” when we have negative intuitions or gut feelings.
Clairolfaction is especially useful in the fields of holistic health and energy work. Some gifted healers are able to smell the early symptoms of illness or dietary shortages. This can make traditional diagnosis and treatment much less invasive, and far more proactive. Some medical intuitives have the ability to smell disease or identify affected areas of the body through smell. Research in this field is unfortunately limited, but studies have found that dogs, for example, are able to smell the presence of cancer cells in human subjects. In fact, in one study dogs correctly detected 99% of the lung cancer samples, and made a mistake with only 1% of the healthy controls.
For me personally the most interesting aspect of my ‘smelling ability’ is the unique odor I smell when I encounter orbs. Spirit often reveals itself to me in the form of floating orbs of light, or what I could describe as ‘flickering light bubbles’ or ‘bundles of fireflies’. These orbs usually bring with them a distinctive smell, which is unlike anything I have ever encountered in ordinary life. The best way I can describe it is that it smells like ‘electricity’, or ‘ozone’. It is not unpleasant, simply unusual. For a long time I had no way of describing it, until I bought a small air purifier. I soon discovered that the faint smell of ozone, which is generated in small quantities by the negative ions from the purifier, was rather similar.
In my experience psychics and mediums develop intuitive associations with certain smells, in the same way we each develop through trial and error our own code of psychic symbols, or attach our own unique meanings to sights, sensations and sounds. A good example in my case is how I always know a stranger is terminally ill when I smell ‘rotting peaches’ in their presence. This association comes from one of my earliest childhood memories when I was about five years old. Visiting my maternal grandparents over the holidays, I was introduced to the neighbors’ sickly little girl who lived across the street.
Sometimes psychic smells also serve me personally. There are, for example, smells I associate with friends or family members that often show up when I am about to hear from that person, or when it becomes necessary for me to make contact with them. I have a long-standing joke with one of my best friends. We have known each other for many years, but do not see each other very often. When I do get around to calling her, she always wants to know if I was smelling coffee again. The aroma of fresh coffee is always a clear sign that it is time for us to meet at our favorite restaurant! Once I woke up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat with the unmistakable smell of coffee in the room. I instantly knew she was in trouble and when I finally got hold of her partner, he told me that she had been hijacked earlier that night in her car and was being treated for a minor gunshot wound.
Another of my favorite smells is that of melted candle wax, which I associate with my maternal grandmother. One of her hobbies was to make colored candles for weddings and special events. She always let me ‘help’ her when I was a little boy. She passed away when I was about 10 years old, but since then the smell of candle wax has made her presence known to me on several occasions.
© 2010 Anthon St. Maarten