ISOLATING THE IN-SMELL AND THE OUT-SMELL
I repeat: find something which smells strong and nice and start by noticing the contrast between the in-breath and out-smell.
And, i repeat, normally, after the nostrils, scents pass through the nasal canals. I doubt if any animal or child would realise that they have nasal canals. 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.
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 their 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. Notice the contrast between the in and out-smell, notice the difference is far clearer now.
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, on the in-breath, the back of your tongue will 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, and leaves it to build up, undisturbed by our own out-scent, so that now we can isolate and explore the pure residue of the in-scent, as it builds up in the nasal canals.
So, slightly open your mouth, breathe out through your mouth. Leave your mouth open and when you smell in through your nose, your tongue will automatically rise to the roof of the mouth, like a valve in the 'Q' position.
Now the out-smell will be felt, or rather, 'tasted', in the mouth and the residue of the in-smell will hang in the nostrils and nasal canals and both can build up over a series of breaths.
Sense the Scents
Sense the scents quite generally in and behind the nose. Notice the smell sensation spreading out, above the roof of the mouth, into the cheek bones, outwards to both sides in the direction of the ears.
The effects are especially noticable, 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 and at the back 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.
This sensation of the mouth being bigger than it actually is, - is the felt-reality for humans, and thus also important to explore.
It often feels as though the smells fill up this larger mouth area, which is infact my entire brain area, leaving about an inch of skull around it. While the actual mouth, 'tastes' the out smell.
Now, recently because of this felt-reality, i started doing a new exercise. The above 'Q' shape exercise is ideal to sense what is actually happening from a quasi-scientific point of view, but the smells appear to be experienced by the mouth in humans. So i tried closing my lips to breathe in and opening them when i breathed out.
But continually opening and closing my lips, was far too much work, - so for a while i tried resting the upper lip on the lower teeth, it happens by itself, touching together when i breathe in, opening slightly when i breathe out.
Breathing out i felt my mouth was small, but breathing in it still seemed to have this other dimension of being much larger than it is.
All the above experiences were valuable. However after all this, i came back to breathing with my mouth always closed. With the lips closed, i still feel the in-smell all over the brain area, and the out-smell is only perceptible in the central and front area. I feel the warmth of my out-smell on the roof of the mouth, so the way it feels internally (and quite irrationally), is that the roof of the mouth is connected to the top of my nostrils. It's an interesting sensation, and it's happening all the time and we are unaware of it.
This 'normal' smelling obviously disturbs the scents hanging in the nostrils, but the nasal canals are still active and the in-smell hangs in the top, back and sides of the head
I still use all the above methods when they seem appropriate at different times, and there are sure to be other methods i haven't yet discovered.
Please continue with Savouring Scents