Unexplained Phantom Smell


My people know how much I loooovveeeee the spooky. I was binge watching one of those “my ghost story” shows when the victim of demonic attacks talked about constant foul smells in her home. In another episode, the storyteller recalled being engulfed in the rose perfume of a dead relative.

I’ve had my own experiences with mysterious smells. I haven’t spoken about them in years and I never wrote them down so what better way to record them now than in a blog post?!

My maternal grandmother’s house sat atop a small hill. We still chuckle about how strict she was that the windows and doors had to be closed as soon as daylight faded. One night in Mama’s kitchen, she and a couple of her daughters, including my mom, were talking and laughing. I was there too and I know that I was young because the adults were switching to Spanish for the saucy bits of their convo and I was not understanding (I studied Spanish in high school). My grandmother uncharacteristically had the top half of her kitchen door open. I remember looking out the window and thinking how dark it was outside. It seemed like you couldn’t see through the blackness. In that moment, I smelt the most indescribably delightful fragrance ever. It was a complex mixture of florals, sweet oils, scented candles, perfumes, and yet, I’ve never been able to pinpoint precisely what it was. The fragrance did not come into the house, it sort of quickly drifted past the open part of the door. One of my aunts eventually exclaimed, “Ah boy, a spirit passin’.” That’s when I realised that everybody else had smelt it too. My grandmother didn’t have any floral or perfumed plants. Neither did any of her neighbours. The adults weren’t particularly concerned with finding a source or explanation for the odour. They simply carried on with their conversation.

Fast forward some years later. I was a teenager studying for final exams. I used to be up quite late on my own. It was after 11 p.m. and I was quite bored with the whole studying thing. As I was half-heartedly thumbing through a textbook, I felt a lovely fragrance move from my left to the right of the room. It seemed to walk toward and into my parents’ room. It took no more than a minute for me to register that it was the very same fragrance that I had smelt at Mama’s house all those years before! As I wrestled with that realisation, the scent exited the way it came. I took that as my cue to get to bed. The next morning I told my parents what happened. They had no idea.

In both instances, nothing remarkable preceded or followed the fragrance. What did these visitations mean? If you have a similar story, please let me know in the comments! I’d like to know more.

24 thoughts on “Unexplained Phantom Smell

    1. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I’ve read about bad smells. Paranormal TV shows/movies mention awful scents a lot too. Wish I could find out more about that beautiful scent that I experienced.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I would never call myself a writer. I tell people that I “scribble”. I’m more of a storyteller I think. My family and friends think I’m a riot when I’m on my soapbox. I excelled academically with my research papers, and for many years I wrote reports for the Centre where I worked. My sis has encouraged me to get more writing in…I’m trying very hard to do that for the blog.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. This happened to me maybe 4 or 5 times in my life. The most recent was yesterday morning as my husband and I were walking along the beach. We were in quite a secluded part, walking towards sand dunes when suddenly I got the beautiful smell. It’s kind of light floral, not too sweet. I recognised it immediately and I stopped to inhale it. It’s such a wonderful and it doesn’t remind me of anything or anybody. It only lasts a few seconds and then it’s gone. It’s so strange!


      1. People who know the fragrance understand that it smells familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. Trying to explain it to people who haven’t experienced this usually ends in them trying to convince me that it must be a “known” scent. Having an aromatherapist back me up is wonderful!

        Liked by 1 person

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