Reproducing smells and fragrances with the aid of the mind
As in the previous exercise, we are faced with a mental simulation that is not easy to obtain; indeed, it will be even more difficult in all likelihood. Sensory concentration was, in fact, based on an experience that is not entirely focused but still constant (the sensations of heat and cold, for example, are maintained uniformly over time as long as the stimulus lasts). Olfactory experience, on the other hand, is strictly connected to the act of inhalation, through which the molecules of the smelling substance bind to the receptors of the nasal cavities.
When Bardon says, “Imagine smelling the fragrance of different flowers, etc.” we are faced with the need to create a stable sensation of the smell when in reality, we perceive it only in sync with the inhalation. So, here’s how to proceed:
- Choose a pleasant fragrance (flowers, perfumes) at your disposal. Smell it intensely, trying to feel the effect it causes on the nasal cavities. Focus on that effect.
- Remove the smell’s source and try replicating it with your mind. As with all exercises of concentration on the senses, the attention must be exclusively on the chosen sense organ; therefore, you do not have to imagine the source of the smell with the visual faculty. Initially, you can use inhalation to replicate the sensation but gradually get used to doing it without it.
- Once you get results, experiment with the previous steps by replacing fragrances with unpleasant odours.
- If you can maintain olfactory concentration without using the inhalation for five minutes, the exercise is over.