Your Wonderful Senses: Smelling


The scents we smell physically can lead us to encounter wonder spiritually. Our sense of smell opens up our perception to new possibilities. Smelling pleasant fragrances evokes inspiring emotions within us. For example, stopping to “smell the roses” can inspire us to feel awe for the sweetness of the peace God offers us. In Wake Up to Wonder, I tell the story of how my daughter Honor sniffed more than 300 candles at a store. She went through the shelves methodically, sniffing rows and rows of candles, immersed in wonder! After I joined her, time stood still as I savored a variety of wondrous aromas: apple pie, rain showers, gingerbread, eucalyptus, spruce, and many more. It’s easy to see how fragrances that we associate with positive feelings can inspire us. But even scents that trigger negative emotions in us can still sharpen our perception, which makes it easier for us to discover wonder. Now stores are selling candles that smell like hand sanitizer to commemorate the pandemic. Even that can inspire us to reflect on the ways God works through people who help each other during challenges. Every type of scent – from the food we eat to the air we breathe during nature hikes – has the potential to usher more wonder into our lives. All we have to do is savor scents with gratitude. Then our perception will be stronger, empowering us to experience moments of wonder.