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 extra-sensory ability or psychic gift of clairolfaction. Other interchangeable terms used to identify this ‘clair sense’ is clairosmesis, clairalience, clairessence and clairscent. They all refer to the same psychic ability, namely ‘clear smelling’.
Clairolfaction is a form of extra-sensory perception (ESP) 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 or fragrances.
Psychics with this extra-sensory gift are able to ‘smell’ beyond the normal range of the 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, apart from the sense of olfaction or smell, may include clairvoyance (vision or seeing), clairsentience (somatosensation or sensing), clairaudience (audition or hearing), clairgustance (gustation or tasting), claircognizance (knowing). Additionally, some experts also prefer to identify two “sub-senses” within the realm of clairsentience, namely clairempathy (emotion or feeling), and clairtangency (tactition or touching, or psychometry).
Clairolfaction 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 clairolfactory psychics also experience associated tastes, together with the relevant smells. Clairalience is also closely associated with clairsentience (clear sensing).
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’.
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 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.
I will never forget the embarrassment I experienced once, on a first date. We were having lunch. After solemnly promising my nervous companion that my work is never allowed to interfere with my personal life, I began to smell the stench of second-hand tobacco smoke. I was annoyed and complained about inconsiderate people puffing away secretly, inside a non-smoking restaurant! Both my date and the waiter must have thought that I was psychologically unstable, because they smelled nothing and there was absolutely nobody smoking anywhere inside that venue.
Driving home from the disaster date, I soon realized what was going on. Whoever was stinking up the restaurant was now chain-smoking inside my car! That evening the culprit made himself known during a mediumship reading. 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.
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 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. 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 clairolfaction. 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 now 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.
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.
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 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. The day we met she was playing behind their house with her teenage brother. He was gently pushing her in a swing attached to a large peach tree. The instant I saw her, it seemed like all the bright sunlight on that perfect summer’s day simply disappeared from the garden. A dark, depressing shadow descended over the home, and I was overwhelmed by a sense of profound sadness and despair. At that moment, the air was thick with the unpleasant odor of rotting peaches lying under the tree. I instantly knew that she was very sick and dying. Years later I heard that she did pass away from leukemia soon after we met.
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
Anthon was interviewed on the subject of the ‘Clair Senses’ by Psychic Viewpoint on Psychic Access Talk Radio during two broadcasts on August 11, 2011 and October 27, 2011. To listen to the archive recordings visit Anthon’s guest page at Psychic Access Talk Radio.
| PsychicAccess.comAnthon St Maarten is an international psychic medium, intuitive consultant and destiny coach. He has been consulting professionally as psychic medium since 2004 and has since established himself as a trusted advisor to many people all over the world. He is also a sought-after inspirational speaker, metaphysics teacher, radio personality, spiritual author and blogger, with a special interest in New Thought spirituality, metaphysics, parapsychology, mediumship and psychic phenomena. He is best known for his bestselling practical spirituality book Divine Living: The Essential Guide To Your True Destiny You can get a psychic reading from Anthon at |
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