I have been trying to read about phantom scents on the internet relating to what has happened to me twice so far this week and came across your site. I believe in the paranormal, spirits or whatever you choose to call it. Being half Asian and living in Thailand most of my life, it is a way of life here for a lot of people. Plus, I have had a few experiences of such things myself.
The first time it happened, I woke up at around 3 or 4am and smelled cooked food hovering in my bedroom. I bolted up from bed thinking I had maybe warmed up some food in the kitchen and had forgotten to switch it off. I ran out to check this but nothing … I was groggy but I remember the smell lingering at the tip of my nose like the stir-fry holy basil I had made the day before. When I went back into my bedroom, the smell had gone. So I came out into the kitchen to make sure and to try and detect the smell again. Nothing. I went back to bed feeling baffled.
Around 3 or 4am (the second time) I woke up to a strong scent of something which reminded me of citronella aromatherapy oil. The smell was really distinctive, … it was there for a few more seconds and just disappeared. Nothing. I was pretty spooked by it all and had to calm myself down some time before I could get back to bed again.
The Thais believe that if you smell flowers it mean the angels are near you, incense means a deity, and If you smell anything rotting or bad, it is from wandering spirits wanting you to make merits for them. But explain food and aroma oil smells…
— Pim, Thailand
(post edited for length)