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Scents & Sense Options
Luftmarque
Posted: Friday, April 10, 2009 6:06:26 PM

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Joined: 3/17/2009
Posts: 3,119
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Location: Pau, Aquitaine, France
Reading The Story of Edgar Sawtelle (page 283) and thinking about the Sounds topic in this forum, I found this

David Wroblewski wrote:
Edgar celebrated by rolling them onto their backs and holding their feet against his face. They were fastidious about their pads and when he inhaled against them, an earthy popcorn smell filled his senses.

I had thought that I was the first person to discover that dogs' paws smell like popcorn! Got me thinking about words for scents, and the larger subjects of olfaction in general and why the sense of smell seems devalued with respect to vision and hearing. Smelly and stinky are not usually applied to something desirable. When I was in grad school I did a little paper on olfaction and learned a lot of interesting things--the primary distinction of the sense of smell is that its signals pass from the nose and olfactory bulb directly to the emotional centers of the brain, bypassing the signal switching in the thalamus that pre-processes the other senses before they move on to the cerebral cortex. Scents are famously evocative of early memories. Dogs are said to have on the order of a thousand times more sensitivity to odor than we do--I can only vaguely imagine how the world's scent-scape appears to them.

So... this topic is for favorite words related to scent... or anything else related to odors. I like the word bouquet often used to describe a wine's odor.
franziska
Posted: Saturday, April 11, 2009 8:59:40 AM

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Joined: 3/23/2009
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Location: Genova, Liguria, Italy
Wonderful topic, this one! I was totally fascinated by Patrick Suskind novel Perfume: I believe it said something rather inportant about smells and how theuìy relate to emotions and passions. The fact is, odours are often very difficult to describe, more so, I think, than what one sees or what one hears.
For instance, how does one describe the wonderful scent of wet earth after a spring rainstorm? Or,the tangy smell of one's skin after a dip in the sea? Or, the sweet milky smell of a newborn baby?
The simple attempt to describe an odour implies emotion, which doesn't apply to other kind of descriptions.
Spahkee
Posted: Saturday, April 11, 2009 9:23:17 AM
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Joined: 4/2/2009
Posts: 36
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Location: United States
"Hot maggoty trash" would certainly evoke an emotional response, only if someone had, at one time or another, experienced that odor, and possibly witnessed it first hand.

Odors are mult-dimensional, in my description, there is not only an odor, but a visual aspect, as well as the emotional aspect. Combining all three into a simple sentence may not be feasible.

Considering the emotional content involving said description (disgust, revulsion, and possibly genuine curiosty), it is very difficult to describe anything to a person who has not experienced it for theselves. Where as describing a square wooden block would seem much less complicated.

Luftmarque
Posted: Saturday, April 11, 2009 1:23:31 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/17/2009
Posts: 3,119
Neurons: 39,962
Location: Pau, Aquitaine, France
Spahkee wrote:
"Hot maggoty trash" would certainly evoke an emotional response, only if someone had, at one time or another, experienced that odor, and possibly witnessed it first hand.

I have seen maggoty trash, though it wasn't hot, but I don't recall anything about its stench (another nice negative word). I love this phrase--it's so suggestive of "hot diggety dog" and I can imagine it would make a good swearing substitute for when one is totally disgusted with something.
Betsy D.
Posted: Saturday, April 11, 2009 1:24:00 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/18/2009
Posts: 193
Neurons: 558
Location: Pennsylvania
Luftmarque wrote:
Reading The Story of Edgar Sawtelle (page 283) and thinking about the Sounds topic in this forum, I found this

[quote=David Wroblewski][color=brown]So... this topic is for favorite words related to scent... or anything else related to odors. I like the word bouquet often used to describe a wine's odor.


Some wine aficionados also refer to the "bouquet" as the "nose".
Betsy D.
Posted: Saturday, April 11, 2009 1:26:27 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/18/2009
Posts: 193
Neurons: 558
Location: Pennsylvania
The smell of a forest after a rain is "musky" - love that one.
moniba
Posted: Saturday, April 11, 2009 8:09:31 PM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 3/18/2009
Posts: 6
Neurons: 18
Location: Pakistan
WE EAT SMELLsounds funny but we eat food of pleasant smell we have food`s smell before the taste buds taste food.
BEAUTYFUL FRESH SMELL of DAWN`S DEW DROPS IN GREEN GRASS OR VERY EARLY MORNING`S AIR Love that and make feel like smelling fresh red rose.
SMELL,make feel like fresh smell of Tea ,COFEE makes them addiction to have them.
also,
smell of chocolate sweet and romantic make feel like smelling red rose.
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