perfume vocabulary: 1 post

Expanding Your Smell Vocabulary via Wine Tasting

How to improve both your sense of smell and your ability to speak about aromas via wine tasting? Elisa explains.

A few months ago I read a sentence in the Atlantic that gave me serious pause: “In English, there are only three dedicated smell words—stinky, fragrant, and musty—and the first two are more about the smeller’s subjective experience than about the smelly thing itself.” Excuse me, what? I can think of a lot more smell words than that. How about aromatic, acrid, pungent, yeasty, perfumey, resinous, skunky?

wine tasting

And those are just the “dedicated smell words” – but most descriptive terms can be used for multiple types of sensory experience. “Rosy” could refer to a perfume or a complexion, “silky” to a fabric or a voice, “sharp” to a taste or a smell or a sound or a feeling. Our senses aren’t as distinct as we think – most of “flavor” is actually smell (that’s why you can’t taste your food when you have a cold), and sound effects or different color packaging can make your chips taste fresher or your soda taste sweeter. (See also the “McGurk effect” – seeing a different mouth shape makes you “hear” a different sound.)

Continue reading →

From the Archives

Latest Comments

  • Hilde in Why Bad Smells Are Important in Perfumery: Hello Victoria, this shows how complex the job of a perfumer is. By the way, it surprises me everytime where you find the inspiration to shed a little light on… January 16, 2021 at 1:47am

  • Monika in Why Bad Smells Are Important in Perfumery: This post reminds me of my signature scent, for which I am in mourning. I’ve been wearing Paestum Rose ever since it first came out — it contrasts rose with… January 15, 2021 at 11:08pm

  • Peter in Why Bad Smells Are Important in Perfumery: Mahalo Victoria, for explaining the hidden depths in perfume. I’m glad that You, the Professional, did the dirty work, creating a perfect, balanced blend for Us, the Perfume Lovers. January 15, 2021 at 11:05pm

  • Andy in Why Bad Smells Are Important in Perfumery: I love a cumin note and wore Declaration this week, so it had been on my mind. Sometimes (if it’s too hot, or I apply in the wrong manner), I… January 15, 2021 at 5:08pm

Latest Tweets

Design by cre8d
© Copyright 2005-2021 Bois de Jasmin. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy