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I repeat: Find something which smells strong and nice and start by noticing the contrast between the in-smell and out-smell.

And i repeat: Normally, after the nostrils, scents pass through the nasal canals. But, what it feels like, for humans who are so out of practice, is that the breath and smell seem to curl round into the back and sides of the mouth, and (if your tongue is hanging), on the upper surface of the tongue and the roof of the mouth.

Isolating the In-smell and the Out-smell

I found this very informative TED video on how dogs "see" with their noses, (5 mins long)

Dogs have a slit at the side of their nostrils where they exhale the ‛out-smell’. This is an important factor for scenting. It allows the ‛in-smell’ scent to hang near the smell-receptors and to build up, over a series of ‛in-smells’, without being disrupted by the ‛out-smell’.

We can partially simulate this by slightly opening the mouth to breathe out. This is the first step: Smell in through the nose and breath out through the mouth.

Then we can get one step better. If you leave your mouth slightly open while you are smelling in, what will happen, if your tongue is relaxed, is, the back of your tongue will automatically curl up, like a valve, ... where the 'K' sound or 'Q' sound is made. This restricts the in-scent from being felt in the mouth.

Now the out-smell will be felt, or rather, 'tasted', in the throat and the mouth; and the in-smell will remain undisturbed in the nostrils, and we can explore the pure residue of the in-smell in the nostrils and nasal canals, and both the in-smell and out-taste can build up over a series of breaths.

Scent the smells

Scent the in-smell, in and behind the nose. Notice the smell sensation spreading out, above the roof of the mouth, maybe backwards and to the top of your head and outwards to both sides in the direction of the ears.

The effects are especially noticeable, after eating or using anything which is felt strongly on the roof of the mouth – Southern Comfort, toothpaste, chewing tobacco –, or if you chew sweet chocolate, and then smell mint, after about 10 breaths you will feel a clear divide line on the roof of your mouth. Above the roof and at the sides and back of your head is filled with mint, and in the mouth and below is a warm chocolate taste.

Notice how the out-smell is more like a taste, in the throat and the mouth. Notice how this way of breathing, isolates and amplifies the contrast between the in-scent and out-taste. And then consider that to some extent this is happening all the time, it is a constant in our experience of ourselves, and we are unaware of it.

Check what i'm saying about how this exercise isolates the nasal canals, close your mouth again and notice how the sensation changes, now it feels as though it is the roof of the mouth which actually does the sensing. And, it feels as though the roof of the mouth is much higher than it actually is.

To enjoy this experience it's necessary to open the mouth only very slightly, otherwise after a few minutes your mouth will start getting dry. When lying down on your back or side it's easy, the lower jaw hangs a bit, and you can rest your upper teeth on your lower lip. When sitting or standing it is not as natural, if your lips are close, they will automatically touch together and this stops the 'Q' valve action, it's necessary to open the lips a bit more and only do it for short periods to hinder dehydration.

Please continue with Savouring Scents

Phase Two

With The Lips Closed - Combining the In-Smell and the Out-Smell

The 'Q' shape exercise is ideal to sense what is actually happening from a quasi-scientific point of view, but what it feels like normally for humans, when the mouth is closed, is that the breath and smell seem to curl round into the back and sides of the mouth, the upper surface of the tongue and the roof of the mouth. And there is the sensation of the mouth being much larger than it actually is. This is the felt-reality for humans, and thus also vital.

This 'normal' way we have of smelling with the mouth closed, obviously disturbs the scents hanging in the nostrils, but the nasal canals are still active.

It often feels as though the ‛in-smell’ fills up this larger mouth area, which sometimes feels as though it's my entire brain area, leaving about an inch of skull around it.

And the way it feels internally (and quite irrationally), is that the roof of the mouth is directly connected with the nostrils. I can't prove it, but it's easy to experience it yourself, just forget all your knowledge and try smelling the in- and out-smell.

I use both the above methods at different times, and there are sure to be other methods which i haven't yet discovered.

Please continue with Savouring Scents

Back to Chapter 4 : Smelling and Tasting