Phantom Smell: Cologne
My husband was in a car accident and was killed instantly. We live in bad neighborhood and my husband knows I’m scared to death here in our home at night with just my son and I. Three days later, we had his funeral services. That night our son went to stay with my father and I went on home thinking I could be strong and be able to stay there by myself.
I smelled his cologne
Around 12:30 a.m., it was the time he came in from working second shift, I was sitting on the couch where I always sat waiting on him to come home. I was crying, because I knew I would never see him come home again. I got up off my couch to go to the kitchen to get me something to drink. Out of nowhere I smelled his cologne as if it had just been sprayed.
I knew there was no-one else in the house to spray it. Is this a sign that he is here with me or was I imagining things?
— Tina in Kentucky
Phantom Smell: Cologne — I’ve heard this before.
A young man once told me that while driving to a meeting, his car filled with the scent of his grandmother’s cologne. He was later notified that she had died—at the exact time he smelled her cologne.
A similar experience happened to me.
I bought my house over 30 years ago from a woman who lost her husband and occasionally during the first few years, I would smell pipe tobacco as if someone was smoking in a small spare room. One day a neighbor who knew the previous owners told me that my spare room had been used as the man’s den where he would relax in the evening and smoke his pipe.
I believe your husband has given you a sign that he is with you. I’m so sorry for your loss. — Kat
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Paranormal activity: phantom smells, lights, talking, toys
I often feel that I am “sensitive” because I feel and have seen various things throughout my life that compel me to believe so. I see shadow people, can sense paranormal activity inside and outside my home.
More recently, things I’ve had occur have begun reoccurring:
- A smell of sweet perfume or of my ex-husband’s cologne (still very alive and well).
- Lights dim and go back to normal.
- I hear people talking as well as babies and kids whining.
- My children’s toys that normally function properly will start blaring through the night. Different toy each time.
I’m very aware there’s a communication that needs to take place. I’m just confused on whom to consult.
I want to know who, what, when, where and why anyone, spirit or daemon in trying to inhabit my space. Any info or suggestions? I’m a very religious and devout person so I don’t want to make any wrong steps but believe the interactions are supposed to take place. Please help.
— Honey, Arizona
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Grandma’s perfume. “I got the chills.”
This Saturday my grandma stayed with us and slept in my room, I slept in my sister’s room. While in bed in my sister’s room I smelled my grandma’s perfume and I got the chills instantly.
Later came another smell, it was my grandma’s hair lacquer spray. Then I smelled food I don’t remember what food it was though. I believe all those smells occurred between 2am and 4am, cuz I didn’t look at the clock, but I didn’t have more smells when the sun came up, and I finally could sleep well.
So now it’s Monday and I had smells last night (Sunday), too. It was toilet paper. I looked at the clock and it was 2:30am.
“A spirit messin’ with me.”
I turned on the light for a moment and went back to sleep. I had no more smells. I believe turning the light on helped. I really believe a spirit or whatever it’s called is messin’ with me. I hope this helps for someone. Just turn the light on, maybe it goes away.
— Wilfrido, Venezuela
Thank you, Wilfrido, for sharing your story about Grandma’s perfume and other unexplained smells. Phantom smells are common. We’ve assigned a Category all for them. For similar stories visit our True Ghost Stories: Phantom Smells, Sounds, Lights
It’s also noteworthy that you awake around 3:00 AM. The hours between 2 and 4 are thought to be the time of night when spirits are most powerful. This time of night associated with the supernatural is often called the “witching hour.”
No men, yet men’s cologne.
No men enter or live in my house, but for some reason, my blouse smells like men’s cologne.
— Glad, New York
For more detailed True Ghost Stories, visit our category Phantom Smells, Sounds, Lights
The strong smell of flowers…
Last night I was in bed and just about to settle in to sleep. I had just watched a movie. I don’t think the movie matters but I will mention it. I watched “Rock Star.” So, I was laying in bed and the most wonderful fragrance of perfume came over me. The strong smell of flowers. I was smelling the air, the comforter, the sheets. It was a great smell. I thought, wow—this is so nice but what does this mean? I didn’t feel afraid or unhappy at the time just that I liked the smell. I fell asleep.
She smelled just like the strong smell of flowers I smelled last night.
So, today I had a dentist appointment at 7:30am. The dental hygienist who I’ve never met sat next to me to work on my teeth. She had the fragrance on. I thought to myself this is crazy, she smells just like the wonderful smell I smelled last night. I wasn’t going to mention this but I just had to. I asked her, “What are you wearing?” She replied, “Oh is it bothering you? I never put on fragrances in the event of clients being allergic.”
“I’ve never had this kind of experience happen to me before.”
Then I told her about last night. I told her I didn’t want her to think I was a nut, but I’ve never had this kind of experience happen to me before. Again, I want to mention that I have never met her before and that she is new to my dentist office. We’ve never crossed paths!
Final note: I don’t have anxiety going to my dentist. So, going to the dentist is not a factor in this situation. What do you think?
— Denise, Arizona
Thanks for sharing your story, Denise. Smell is a common and powerful theme in true paranormal stories. Some of my early memories of moving into a new home include the smell of pipe tobacco. I came to learn the previous owner would light up in the den after dinner.
DreamWatch has received several similar stories from around the world. You’ll find them in our Phantom Smells, Sounds, Lights category at this link or by choosing from the Select Category drop down menu. Thank you for writing. —Kat
Following my mother’s death, I could smell a sweet perfume in my bedroom. I called my sister to ask her if she had experienced anything similar and she had not. However, she suggested the smell may be our mother visiting. I finally prayed to my mom and asked her to only visit me during the day and after that, I never smelled anything else.
— Robert, California
Something funny is going on in my apartment. We moved in around February 2016. Being in our new home I never experienced anything like this. My girlfriend is expecting next month. But for some odd reason last month I was in my living room and it smelled like baby powder then it goes away. Last night I was sitting there again with my girlfriend and it was strong at one point, but then every time I said I smelled something it kept coming and going. So I laid a different way, and I went to my bedroom and the smell follows me. Then I’m the only one who can smell the scent of baby powder. And crazy I’m sitting here now and I’m in the bathroom smelling it again. What does this mean?
— Serious in Michigan
I recently moved in to a duplex house with two bedrooms. The house is kind of vintage and is located at the end of the street. For months, I was the only person living in the property. In several occasions I sensed a strong smell of men’s perfume or cologne. It would last 5-10 seconds and then disappear.
At first I thought that maybe there was some residual smell in the a/c ducts but it happened again and again and you could tell the smell was of freshly sprayed perfume.
After a few months I let a friend move in to share the expenses of the house. A single man moved in next door, also.
Last night, while my neighbor was sleeping (I can hear him snoring through the wall that separates his bedroom from mine) and my roommate was studying with a female friend in the dining room while I was watching TV in my room, I sensed the strong smell of perfume once again. I ignored it. A few minutes later, it happened again. I asked my roommate if he had sprayed perfume or if they had sensed it as well but the answer was no.
I haven’t had any other experience in this house but sometimes I can feel I am not alone. Whoever it is, I am sure he means no harm but he surely wants me to know he is around.
— Ana Maria, Arkansas
“I smell flowers …”
(February 15) as I walk in for work at 6:45am I smell flowers or potpourri all day at work. I thought maybe my part-time cleaned or something, so I went home and lay down on the bed for a nap before softball practice with my daughters and I told my husband I smell flowers again. I didn’t know until I posted (about smelling things) on Facebook, when a friend said it’s my dad around me.
My dad passed away Nov. 30. My grandma passed away Jan. 28
Crazy cause after church Sunday on Valentine’s Day we are going to eat with my husband and he changes the radio station and my favorite song Luther Vandross “Dance With My Father” came on and I just started to cry so my husband says, “Do you want me to change the station?” I told him no!!
— Nicole, Texas
Thanks for your story, Nicole. Here at DreamWatch, true paranormal experiences, we’ve received many stories similar to yours. From the Sidebar Menu, Select Category: Phantom smells, sounds, lights.
Phantom scents in Thailand:
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.
Cooked food, citronella and flowers
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.
I was pretty spooked
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)