Inspired by this week’s Lucidity Challenge on experiencing different senses in lucid dreams, I ran some database queries on some of the collections of dream reports that have been made available for research purposes.
I now have an interesting theory. It isn’t confirmed yet, because the dream databases I was looking at don’t have enough dreams to give statistically significant results. Still, I’ll mention it here anyway:
In general, people very rarely experience a sense of smell in dreams. The main exception seems to be the scent of their partner’s body (pheromones, etc). To formalize this as a statistical hypothesis: I conjecture that sex dreams (e.g. those that have a “sexuality” coding element in the Hall/Van de Castle coding) and dreams in which the dreamer experiences a sense of smell will turn out to be very highly correlated.