Significance of Floral Scents without a Source?

have been smelling the scent of Jasmine in various places for about a month. I thought nothing of it until three nights ago I was waiting for the parking center tram and smelled jasmine. There was no wind and I’d been sitting there for about 10 minutes and there hadn’t been any scent when I first sat down.

I’ve also had it at my dresser where I have a statue of the Virgin Mother along with a candle, a cross, and some dried flowers. These flowers have no scent. It smells like lavender because I have dried lavender sprigs and lemon verbena at her feet. However, neither smell anything like jasmine. Last night I went to my dresser, smelled nothing.

Last night waiting for the tram 20 minutes. Did not smell anything for about 15 minutes, then a slight inhale of it and it was gone. Then right before the tram came it was there again, enough so that my sister noticed it as well. I have walked by the stop many times in the daytime and nighttime and there are no jasmine plants nearby. It doesn’t always smell like jasmine either.

I have no idea what this means, if it has a significance or not. A friend suggested I pray about it. However, I don’t understand this scent, so … someone care to clue me in?

I don’t know about jasmine scent and I cannot make anything out of what you described. But I have a personal experience to share.

Years ago, after my mother who lived in my house with my family, suddenly passed away, I was extremely sad. I was working for a tobacco company at the time. People smoke right and left in the office and the air was horribly polluted.
One early morning in the office, I smelled sweet flavor of roses. I immediately checked each cubible, most people haven’t arrived yet, and there were no rose anywhere.

I was praying rosary like crazy everyday during that extremely sad period. That rose scent in the tobacco filled building, to me, was an assurance and comfort from our Holy Mother.

People who have had apparitions of the Blessed Mother state that there is a heavy most beautiful scent followed by her presence…
I was told it was the scent of roses but I am sure any beautiful aroma could be…

God Bless!

Many members of my extended family have experienced a very strong smell of gardenias, which are what my grandmother carried in her wedding, on many occasions since my grandmother died. We say she’s visiting us on those occasions.

In my case, I have a very limited sense of smell. I can’t smell roses or any other flowers, chocolate, spaghetti, dirty diapers, skunks, you name it. Yet I have had several instances in which I have found myself surrounded by this scent. On one occasion, it was so strong that I had to leave the room. Within five minutes, it drifted in after me.

I am not sure all about the smell of roses, but I would pray the Hail Mary and pray to God. There were only two times that I smelled roses without a source:

  • when I was sleeping… :smiley: - I dreamed and I could smell in my dream that my room was full or roses…It was so strong. I am not sure why it happened in my dream. It could be because during that week, I was praying the Novena of St. Teresa Little Flower.

  • another time is when I got into my car. My car needs to be cleaned up…if you know what I meant :smiley: , but one day, I was getting into my car to drive home, as soon as I opened the car door, the rose scent was in my car. Well, I had no idea how the smell got in my car, but no rose was around. I just prayed a Hail Mary and thought of her. I knew at that time that while walking to my car, I was praying the rosary.

I’m impressed you know what jasmine smells like.

just saw a link to a news article about the brain and scent memories, how even in sleep something, not necessarily an actual odor source, can stimulate nerves in the brain to “remember” a certain scent, and to remember experiences associated with that scent. It may be nothing more than a trick of your nerves.

I have lived in my current home for about six years. I used to lie on the bed upstairs and smell the most amazingly heavenly scent of what I thought smelled like jasmine! It was way too early in the season, and jasmine is not something common in Michigan anyway.

Then I noticed the tree in front of my house got these tiny little yellow flowers on it right before it dropped the messy seeds all over the place. I took a chunk of it in bloom to a friend of mine who is an arborist, and he said it was honeysuckle!! Who would have ever thought!!

So look around and see if you might not have a very large honeysuckle tree near you that just looks like a normal large tree, but with almost imperceptible little yellowish-green flowers. It could be what you are smelling!


Beautiful picture. And, indeed, honeysuckle does have a sweet scent that is quite nice. But unless I am wrong, honeysuckle is a vine that grows around and over anything it can get to. At least it is not as harmful as kudzu.

It may and may not. However, if we can take that to help us to think of God more, then it is good.

I thought so too - but apparently there is a tree form of honeysuckle as well. Do a Google Image search and you will see some photos (including the one above). My mom was surprised as well, she had only heard of it being a vine too. It it had been anyone else telling me this I would have wondered, but this guy is a certified arborist and owns a tree service.

Go figure!! :smiley:


There was a period of about a month where I would smell this very flowery scent as I lay in bed praying the rosary before I went to sleep. I kept trying to find the source, because I was determined that I would not leap to conclusions. Finally, just as I was about to conceede that it might be our Mother I realized it was coming from a bar of soap my sister had given me in my stocking for Christmas that had been sitting on my desk next to my bed. (It was sort of a comic bar of soap, white with “Face” on one side and brown with…another word on the other side, she didn’t just think I smell :stuck_out_tongue: ) Anyway, I’ve since decided that who’s to say it wasn’t God or Mary using the bar of soap? It just as equally might not have been, but either way, the effect is the same.

Thanks for the info. Guess I lead a sheltered life.

Regarding the “meaning” of unexplainable events in our lives…

I’ve read many books about St. Therese of Liseaux (my patron saint). While a teen, she experienced a severe illness and was bedridden for some time. Well, Therese explained that she looked at the statue of the Blessed Virgin in the room one day and it came to life, as it were, before her very eyes. At that moment she was cured.

There are many psychiatric types who have analyzed the cause of Therese’s illness and whether or not she actually saw the Blessed Mother. But one author said one of the most wise things I’ve read regarding signs and their meanings. It is not the sign we receive that constitutes the miracle, it is our response to the “sign” that can be the miracle, if we choose to direct our thoughts and love to God, rather than the sign itself.

You smell jasmine, one of my favorite scents. If that smell leads you to thoughts of God and transforms your relationship with Him, then you have a miraculous event.

Just my two cents.


Gertie, very good insights!

I remember a spiritual director telling a group of us about such phenomena. He reminded us gently to keep focusing on the Lord and our Blessed Mother and not to wonder about such things. The reason for that is that we can get so caught up in the phenomena that it takes our eyes off of the Lord.

I am not saying that you are getting caught up in this in a wrong way; but am sharing what this very wise priest instructed me and the others present there.

He had given a Day of Prayer on St. Therese of Lisieux and several of us got the gentle scent of roses during this. When I look back at that and see how spiritually immature I was at the time (am still learning!) I realize how far astray my thinking could have gone if I had gotten very excited about that.

He did say that whatever the Lord intends for the person when they experience such a thing (if indeed it is from the Lord) happens at the time they experience it, and they should leave it at that.

In this way they cannot be led astray and can just rest in God’s loving care.



I’ve heard lilacs (Fr. John Corapi has mentioned experiencing it).

Personally I have sometimes smelled a scent I cannot identify – especially near the National Shrine (Basilica of the Immaculate Conception) in Washington DC. And I think sometimes also at the Franciscan Monastery near the National Shrine.

Both locations have wonderful gardens with flowers, so it might merely have been a natural phenomena. Our Lady is often visits both (either personally, or within a Spirit-filled Christian imitating Our Lady’s virtues and doing Our Lady tells them to do).


When I came to Colorado and entered the convent in 1987, it was early June and the air was thick with the sweetest fragrance. I never knew what it was, but every year in June that scent would return. One summer, long after I’d left the monastery I caught a whif of that familiar scent and followed my nose as the fragrance came and went on the breeze. I thought I was going to hyperventilate!

Finally, I found it’s source. It was the blooms of the Russian Olive tree, which is considered a noxious weed in Colorado and therefore cannot be purchased in any nursery. But to this day I associate this fragrance with surrending my will to God’s with joyful abandon. A little miracle takes place in my life every June, thanks be to God.

I imagine everything that needs to be said on this topic has already been said, but I just wanted to add yet another way that God reaches into the hearts of His children and draws us back to Himself.