Distinctive smells have long been associated with a variety of paranormal and psychic phenomena. Many mediums specifically 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 smell to gain insight into events of the past, present and future. This unusual ability is known as the gift of clairalience, or as ‘clairolfaction’ or ‘clairescence’. These interchangeable terms all mean the same thing, namely ‘clear smelling’.
Clairalience is a form of extra-sensory perception that enables the gifted person to receive psychic or paranormal information by means of ‘psychic smelling’. It is, however, important to note that a person with this ability does not smell any real odors.
Psychics with this spiritual gift are able to smell beyond the normal smelling sense. There is no physical source for such a smell, and other people in the room would usually not smell anything, unless they are also gifted.
Memories, imagination, old sentiments, and associations are more readily reached through the sense of smell than through any other channel – Oliver Wendell
Most psychics and mediums have a combination of extra-sensory abilities, which may include clairvoyance, clairsentience, clairaudience, claircognizance, clairempathy, clairgustance, clairtangency and/or clairalience.
Clairalience is typically accompanied by clairgustance (clear taste). It would make sense that this partnership exists on a spiritual level, since our normal sense of taste and smell also go hand-in-hand. You will therefore find that many clairalient psychics also experience associated tastes, together with the relevant smells. Clairalience is also closely associated with clairsentience (clear feeling).
It is believed that clairalients are able to smell energy. Everything around us consists of energy vibrating at different frequencies. It may very well be that with clairalience, certain energy vibrations are stimulating 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, British scientist Luca Turin recently found that our ability to smell may instead be based on how these molecules ‘quiver and shake’.
For the sense of smell, almost more than any other, has the power to recall memories and it’s a pity we use it so little - Rachel Carson
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 is made possible by our brain’s interpretation of vibrations.
Experiencing certain smells in the presence of spiritual manifestations is a common occurrence among psychics, mediums and paranormal investigators. According to a recent survey among 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 cigar smoke. This makes it very easy to identify who a spiritual message is coming from. But these are not the only smells that psychic mediums experience. They may 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, which may, for example, 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 often is most intense when someone passed away very recently.
Don ‘t hurry. Don’t worry. You’re only here for a short visit. So don’t forget to stop and smell the roses – Walter Hagen
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 often report the smell of sulphur when they investigate hauntings.
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! Smells have the unique ability to immediately evoke strong emotions within us, or trigger intense memories.
Nothing else can so instantly bring back a meaningful moment from the past, or invoke the presence of a special person. It therefore comes as no surprise that so many mediums possess the gift of clairalience. It is clearly one of the more powerful ways spirit can validate or clarify whatever message is coming through for us.
Some psychics also know from experience that odor or smell can reflect the state of someone’s health, or aspects of their mood or personality. This is supported by recent advances in science, which makes it possible to use odor print analysis to detect illness or to identify a person, similar to fingerprinting.
Clairalience 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.
Cancer cells emit different metabolic waste products than normal cells. The differences between these metabolic products are so great that they can be detected by a dog’s keen sense of smell, even in the early stages of disease – Nicholas Broffman
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 would 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.
Smells I personally associate with friends or family members also 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 knew she was in trouble! I finally got hold of her partner, who revealed to me that she had been hijacked earlier that night 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 soon after that the smell of candle wax made her presence known to me on several occasions.
© 2010 Anthon St Maarten
About The Author: Anthon St Maarten is an international psychic advisor, clairvoyant medium, intuitive consultant and destiny coach. He is also a sought-after radio personality, inspirational speaker and metaphysical teacher, and author of the bestselling book 'Divine Living: The Essential Guide To Your True Destiny'. Anthon holds a BA degree in Psychology from the University of Pretoria (UP), with additional studies completed at the University of South Africa (UNISA). You can get a psychic reading from Anthon at PsychicAccess.com
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