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Did You Dream About Smells? Here's What It Means

When a colorful dream-concept like smells appears prominently in dreams, it can have several different explanations.

Listed below are 3 analytical explanations of dreams about smells from our dream analysis experts.

Which of these interpretations makes the most sense for you?

What does smells mean in dreams?

1. The traditional interpretation

Mary headshot
Mary Leyen
Dream Expert,
Contributor: "3 of Dreams Book of Dreams"

A dream about smelling something or a particular smell signifies your intuitive senses and awareness. But it's often a dream image with multiple nuances.

It may indicate a memory or past experience, as smells are strongly tied to memory in the brain. For instance, the smell of flowers might suggest love or happiness, while the smell of smoke could warn of danger or deceit. If the smell is unpleasant, it might represent fear or disgust.

Alternatively, a pleasant smell could symbolize attraction or comfort. It's important to consider your personal associations with the smell for a more accurate interpretation.

Smells can often be a complex and fascinating dream object to get one's head around. To really say for sure, I'd need to take a deeper dive into the dreamer's background and current mindset.

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2. The psychoanalyst's interpretation

Ernesto headshot
Ernesto Andrahi
Contributor: "3 of Dreams Book of Dreams"

Dreaming about odors, or the presence of a specific scent, may be thought of as a manifestation of your unconscious mind's attempt to communicate with your conscious self.

We can take this reasoning to another level: In Freudian terms, the olfactory sense is deeply rooted in the id, the primal part of our psyche. Thus, smells in dreams can be symbolic of our most basic desires and fears. An unpleasant odor might represent repressed anxieties or guilt, while a pleasant one could signify unfulfilled desires or yearnings. The specific scent is also crucial to the interpretation. For instance, the smell of a childhood home could indicate a longing for security or a return to innocence. As always, personal context and associations play a significant role in deciphering these olfactory symbols.

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3. The spiritualist's interpretation

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Liz Morrison
Shaman and Spirit Guide,
Contributor: "3 of Dreams Book of Dreams"

Dreaming about smelling something or a particular scent is a spiritual message from your higher self or divine guides. Smells in dreams are often linked to spiritual awakening, intuition, or psychic abilities. A pleasant scent may symbolize divine guidance, spiritual growth, or enlightenment, while an unpleasant smell could represent spiritual blockages or negative energy. The specific scent also carries spiritual significance. For instance, the smell of roses might indicate divine love or spiritual blessings, while the smell of smoke could symbolize spiritual transformation or purification. Always remember, your personal spiritual journey and experiences will shape the interpretation of these olfactory symbols in your dreams.

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So whose analysis of the dream makes the most sense for you?

Which interpretation above for smells best matches your unique situation?

Only you can say for sure. Remember that our subconscious mind can be a convoluted thing. Any dream concept can symbolize multiple meanings — or result from many different activities in our daily life.

Got a different interpretation for dreams about smells of your own? Add your own interpretation in the comments at the bottom of this page.

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