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Old 11/26/10, 11:12 PM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 5,518
Keep smelling familiar perfume but no one's here

This is becoming quite distressing. I'm alone, have been since last night. DH and boys at the deer camp. I am not wearing perfume. I don't have any right now, what I had got old and stale and I threw it out about a year or more back. I don't use fabric softener on our clothes, my deodorant is unscented, haven't used hand lotion or anything more than Suave shampoo that removes buildup, which doesn't have much scent, and I washed my hands with Palmolive green dish soap.

I am smelling a very familiar perfume, it literally keeps wafting in front of my face. Been going on for about half an hour. It's not my clothes or my hair, it's nothing on or in the desk, I've looked. It's nothing in this immediate area, or the house. I cannot account for this fragrance.

It is driving me crazy. I know this smell. I want to say L'air du Temps, or White Shoulders? Something soft, floral, slight hint of rose and baby powder. I KNOW this smell.

I am thinking it is the perfume that one of my grandmothers wore, my grandmother who is in a nursing home in another state, lost in the last stages of Alzheimers.

Suppose I should make a phone call to my parents, to see if everything is ok.

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Old 11/26/10, 11:17 PM
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Might be a good idea.

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Old 11/26/10, 11:20 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Maybe she is just looking out for you, reminding you she is near?

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Old 11/26/10, 11:51 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: north central Pennsylvania
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Every once in a while I will smell a cigar smell in our old home. No one has or does smoked in this house the 30 years we have been here. Perhaps, it is the smell of old wood but ..don't think so. It gives me a comforting feeling to think that possibly "someone" is watching over this old house and us in it.
don't believe in spirits...or do I. ??

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Old 11/26/10, 11:53 PM
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I would acknowledge the smell.. if you are alone, it is ok to talk to yourself or whatever.. if there is anything you want to say it wouldn't hurt to say it.
It seems a very loving type thing you are experiencing..

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Old 11/27/10, 12:06 AM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 5,518

I called my parents, spoke to my mother and as far as they know, both grandmothers are alright, they haven't had any phone calls from anyone.

I feel like crying, and I don't know why. This is so strange. If I didn't feel perfectly normal, I'd think I was having a stroke or aneurism or something. Maybe I'll just go to bed, try to sleep.

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Old 11/27/10, 01:36 AM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Manitoba, Canada
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When DH and the boys are out, I often take the opportunity to get some cleaning done that isn't "normal" type cleaning, often using cleaning products I don't often use. Have you taken advantage of your "alone" time to do something like this? Might be a scented cleaner, or just the absence of scent that you've cleaned away that your nose is interpreting as a "new" scent.


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Old 11/27/10, 05:26 AM
Join Date: May 2002
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Brush your teeth and blow your nose. LOL

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Old 11/27/10, 07:02 AM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: N. Texas
Posts: 4,186

Have you hugged anyone recently......who may have been wearing a scent that transferred to you?
Do you have a pet you have recently groomed?
Do you use any of those plug in room freshners?

FYI...When I smell lilac and lavender....I get the same feeling you are describing. My mama wore it.......she passed when I was a very yound child.
Scent can evoke much emotion....happy and sad.
Cry if you need to......It's OK.
Sorry you are feeling unsettled and disturbed.
Just in case...like another poster said.. acknowledge the scent outloud.....what can it hurt?
Hope you find peace soon.
Bless you.


"We are the people, our parents warned us about." - Jimmy Buffett

Last edited by Texasdirtdigger; 11/27/10 at 07:05 AM.
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Old 11/27/10, 07:26 AM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 2,129

My mom passed away thirteen years ago. After she died, I would periodically smell roses. It'd be right in the middle of nothing, with no explanation. It would bring with it a sense of overwhelming peace. The most amazing one was when I was walking across the yard one subzero January night to do chores. There was no way to be downwind from someone else's perfume, nor anyone else's clothing. It was rich tea roses, like on a summer's morning with the sun shining down from a high blue sky and drying the dew on the petals. And again, that sense of overwhelming peace. It got to where whenever it happened I'd say "Hello, Mom," and smile.

Gotta tell you this one though. I'd been smelling this really strange smell in the house lately. Not all the time; just sometimes. Kinda vanilla-ish, like someone baking a cake or something. I hadn't made anything like that, nor did I have any candles like that. Out of nowhere one morning at breakfast when the grandsons had spent the night, I smelled it. I asked the boys if they smelled it, and one said no and the other said yes. He said it smelled to him like fruit.

Then I realized; the furnace had kicked on, and I was drinking a blueberry cinnamon coffee. He was smack between me and the cold air return.

I hope you get to the bottom of your smells. I'm not at all surprised that you want to cry. The emotions these smells evoke can be powerful; tears are a release.

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Old 11/27/10, 07:42 AM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 5,918

Not wanting to sound alarmist, but unexplainable smells can have a neurological cause - I used to suffer from petit mal epilepsy, and would often smell marmite before I had an "attack"

Lots of other causes too I am sure, but just to add i ntuppence worth

Hope you're better this morning



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Old 11/27/10, 07:59 AM
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Hoggie is right. It could be something as simple as your house being haunted by a ghost wearing perfume; but it could be something more serious, such as phantosmia.


Only the paranoid survive.

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Old 11/27/10, 08:24 AM
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Location: VA
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If it is just a smell, talk to whoever it might be. I do!

There is sometimes a smell in our bedroom of baking. Burn toast, or cakes or something like that. Part of it used to be the kitchen and the smell is very localized in there. I am not the only one who smells it.

We have other happenings that tell us we are not alone here, possibly why our house has been through a lot of owners. But they do not concern me, the house has a nice 'feeling'.

I always think that they were here before me, so who am I to want them gone?

Hope you are ok.

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Old 11/27/10, 08:42 AM
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Location: East Texas
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I get migranes and weird smells is almost always a "sign" that one is coming...




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Old 11/27/10, 08:47 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: MA
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I also get the smell of Cigar every once in a while. My grandfather and I were very close and he died right after I had oldest DD. He was never without a cigar in his mouth. When I get that wiff, I know he is just checking in on me. I usuallly smile and give a "Hi Pop".

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Old 11/27/10, 09:25 AM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Tennessee
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Do you have any dept. store flyers or magazines around? They sometimes have those little scent strips and even if you don't open them you can still smell them.

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Old 11/27/10, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Jenni979 View Post
I get migranes and weird smells is almost always a "sign" that one is coming...
This is what I was thinking... I used to get migraines regularly and read of examples of this.

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Old 11/27/10, 09:44 AM
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Location: Northwestern Illinois
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We get various smells every once in a while. The most remarkable two that I can think of are the following. DH had burnt the hair off the back of his hand and a few minutes later he smelled a linament smell, very old fashioned linament that you'd use on horses, that's how he recognized it. Another time he went to the horse barn and smelled tobacco, like it was drying not being smoked; turns out the horse barn had been used to dry tobacco a long time ago.
I'm glad you checked on your grandmothers. I'm also glad that you connected a smell to someone you love. You've had a lot of great ideas to check out, too. Just talk it out to yourself or 'whomever' is there. You'll be OK.

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Old 11/27/10, 09:53 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ocala, FL
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Could your DH have bought you a bottle of perfume as an early Christmas present and hidden it? Or one of the children?


...'o shame on the mothers of mortals, who have not stopped to teach; of the sorrow that lies in dear, dumb eyes; the sorrow that has no speech... from -'Voice of the Voicless', Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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Old 11/27/10, 11:56 AM
Join Date: Dec 2004
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Thanks to everyone for the kind and thoughtful replies, I appreciate them.

Our closest neighbor is about 1/2 mile away, and while it might be possible for a fragrance that delicate to travel such a distance, I kind of doubt it. Unless there was a perfume wearing prowler? I once detected someone standing in the woods behind our property I assume watching the place because I could smell cigarette smoke, and later found several butts by a tree.

No perfume at all, haven't purchased any. DH hasn't been shopping, and if he somehow bought me a Christmas present I'll throttle him as the agreement was no presents for eachother this year. No cleaning has been done--to be honest, I've been loafing since the men of the house have been gone. Like Hears the Water, I don't like a lot of strong smelling household cleaners. I use just a few things to clean with.

Haven't been out in public to hug anyone, no magazines (well, DH won a free lifetime subscription to Americn Hunter years ago and we still get it, but I don't think they put perfume inserts in them. I also have a few Country Sampler laying around but they don't have inserts either.

I even smelled the dogs, thinking they had somehow gotten into something. Nope.

Just can't account for the smell.

Unless I do have a tumor, eek. One of my grandfathers had a tumor on his pituitary gland, which affected his olfactory bulb and he would smell what he called 'fumes', and they even had an entire new furnace installed because he thought the furnace was faulty and giving off fumes. Of course, nothing worked, even after he had surgery to remove the tumor, he experienced phantom smells the rest of his life.

I guess I could have a tumor or aneurism or something. I feel fine, though, no headaches or odd feelings. Just that perfume fragrance.


Last edited by JuliaAnn; 11/27/10 at 11:58 AM.
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Old 11/27/10, 12:09 PM
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I believe God allows our loved ones to watch over us from time to time. Of course I also believe that animals go to heaven.

Surprisingly, scent is the strongest sense when it comes to recall. Certain scents will waft me back to another time and place. Scents can comfort, they can irritate, they can make us cry.

Keep us posted!



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Old 11/27/10, 12:26 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
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People can also have sense memory - for no apparent reason - but because the back of your mind is trying to bring something you need or want to think about to the front of your mind. Like, has it been a while since you talked to your Grandmother, and if so, do you regret that somewhere deep down? It could be something practical like that.



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Old 11/27/10, 01:55 PM
Join Date: Sep 2002
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Ads in magazines and newspapers can have perfume samplers in them. I'm also one who will smell weird non-existing smells just before a migraine.


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Old 11/27/10, 02:27 PM
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Strange things are often occurring in this world .. some appear comforting; some do not. I have no doubt we have Guardian Angels watching over us in this earthly domain; however, I always judge what is heard, smelt, felt, sensed or seen by Scriptures.

Hope this helps.

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Last edited by motdaugrnds; 11/27/10 at 11:15 PM.
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Old 11/27/10, 03:27 PM
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Some of the strange scents I smell in this house are coffee brewing, cigarette smoke, wood smoke and cinnamon. No one else ever smells it. We don't drink coffee or smoke cigarettes so there is no explanation for them. We do have a fireplace and use cinnamon a lot, but that still doesn't explain why I smell these things out of the blue.

I find it quite weird, but I don't let it bother me.

The other day hubby had been cutting fire wood. He was at the computer taking a break and I leaned over to kiss the top of his head and burst into tears. He smelled just like my Daddy used to...a combination of sweat, wood and chainsaw oil. The reaction was immediate and unexpected.

If the smell makes you feel like crying, what's stopping you? Crying will make you feel better.

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Old 11/27/10, 03:33 PM
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I had a bad experience when I was a kid. Some one pushed me down in a tub with the water full force in my face. Every time I thought about it, I could smell the water, till I told some one what had happened and confronted the culprit. The smell is gone now, and I don't think about it very often, like I used to.


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Old 11/27/10, 03:59 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: KY
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JuliaAnn, if it's any comfort to you, I'm standing beside you worrying about this too. Last Monday there was a faint smell of perfume here in my office. I tore the place apart trying to identify the source. I smelled outside everywhere. I still have no clue where it came from, but it smelled like you described with the floral (not roses, maybe orchids) and baby powder, very faint but distinctive in its' smell. It reminded me of an old perfume from high school, Wind Song or maybe Cotillion.

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Old 11/27/10, 04:15 PM
Join Date: Dec 2004
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Oh. It's Windsong. No doubt, I know it. My grandmother in the nursing home here used to wear it (both grandmothers are in nursing homes; the one here has dementia and late stage Parkinsons, and the other in another state has late stage Alzheimers). Thank you for the hint--that is definitely which perfume it is. I hope you can figure out where your perfume smell came from!

My grandmother here wasn't able to be with the family for Thanksgiving as she was having a 'bad day', in other words nonstop, horiffic hallucinations. She was given something to try to stop the hallucinations and make her sleep, I don't know what drug, but she was groggy and incoherent when my mother went to see if she was up to spending the day with the family.

Maybe she was visiting me last night. And I did cry, it came out like a flood, big, wracking sobs. I felt so sad and yet felt flooded with love. I don't know who the love was for, or why I suddenly felt it, but I loved whoever it was so much I couldn't contain it. Had to put a washcloth rolled up with a few pieces of ice in it on my eyes last night, they were so swollen from crying. I did feel better.

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Old 11/27/10, 05:18 PM
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After my Nannie died, my mother would often smell Ben Gay or mentholatum rub in her house. She looked everywhere but couldn't find where the smell was coming from. It often happened when Mom was having a cry over her mother. Nannie had arthritis and used Ben Gay all the time, and we felt she was trying to comfort my mother in her grief. She hasn't smelled them in several years, but she's also come to terms with her mother's death.


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Old 11/27/10, 06:02 PM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: N. Texas
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Bless your heart, JuliaAnn. I have ben thinking about you all day.
Sometimes we just feel melancoly(sp) and pensive.....Glad you had your cry. Sorry you where alone. ((((((hugs)))))


"We are the people, our parents warned us about." - Jimmy Buffett

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