Great word, clairalience, isn’t it? It means you experience fragrances or odors that aren’t related to your physical surroundings. For example, when I think of my grandfather I experience a strong smell of wet grass and earth. Thoughts of my father initiate a smell of vanilla and tobacco though he hasn’t smoked a pipe in 40 years.

Clairalience can be triggered by memories, visual clues, and paranormal phenomena. I often get smells when working with my crystals. I have a particular rose quartz stone that smells like roses – not the smell on a hot summer evening when the scent can almost be cloying – but the scent you get in the morning when the dew is still on the blossoms. A light, happy smell. Oddly enough, it is only related to this particular crystal, not rose quartz in general.

Sometimes I experience smells that aren’t related to anything. I often smell wood smoke in the house I’m living in, though all of the windows are closed and it is took warm for the neighbors to be using the fireplace. It isn’t a bad, scary, “your housing is burning down” smell, but a kind of campfire, homey smell.

Obviously the smells originate in my brain, not the air around me. I suspect that the scents that occur without being triggered by a memory or visual cue are related to emotions or my subconscious trying to point something out. I usually smell the campfire when I’m tense and need to sit down and relax.

Like any other unusual abilities, it is best to keep a journal of your phantom smells. Record not just the smell, but where you were, what you were thinking and feeling, and what the smell means to you. How did the smell make you feel? What do you think it was trying to tell you or get you to pay attention to?

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