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flutherother's avatar

What new words would you invent to describe scents and smells?

Asked by flutherother (27083points) March 2nd, 2013

There are lots of words in English to describe what we see and few that describe scents. Some people are very aware of smells and the descriptive words we have are not adequate to describe them all. What new words do you think we need to describe smells?

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11 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Smarl, the smell of old food that is not yet garbage and you would eat if you were hungry, but not if there was something better close by.

CWOTUS's avatar

Earoma. Need I say more?

rebbel's avatar


Pandora's avatar

Fents – for smells you can almost feel
smate for smells you can taste.

fundevogel's avatar

I think the most efficient solution would be to have a new suffix with which to transform existing words into scent descriptors. This sort of grammar already allows us to appropriate and transform existing words in a way that is intuitively understood. For instance lets say the scent suffix is -lar.

So lets describe some distinct smells we can infer from existing root words

leather + lar = leatherlar
gin + lar = ginlar
pasture (drop the e) + lar = pasturlar
granny (turn the y into an i) + lar = grannilar

It’s my instinct that this new class of words would be used primarily as adjectives but I think they should also be employable as nouns. I’m undecided as to if noun usage should involve a further modified suffix.

flutherother's avatar

@fundevogel That is ingenious and there are already a few words for smell such as smoky, spicy, woody that are based on what produces the smell but I amn’t really satisfied with these words. I would like the scent equivalent for words like red, or green or blue or round that refer to the experience directly and not what causes it. I’m sure dogs could come up with a few if they could speak.

majorrich's avatar

Faroop. The odor of flatus that is so potent so as to make it difficult to distinguish it from poo.
Smemory. An odor that sparks a memory. Like the smell of bay rum or old spice,

Sunny2's avatar

Nosalicious or nasalicious.

filmfann's avatar

Many years ago, I peeled an orange, which filled the room with its smell. My friend described it as being very loud, which I though was quite amusing and inventive.

fundevogel's avatar

@flutherother I would love to hear how dogs describe smell!

cazzie's avatar

As a cosmetics and soap formulator, I love the whole idea of this topic. I think @fundevogel idea is genius as well. We need more descriptive words for fragrant and taste sensations and using familiar words with a simple suffix is perfect. There is a very well developed science for fragrance and taste that is laboratory based. There are many commonly manufactured bases that are used to manipulate and trick the human body into smelling or tasting something that they relate to a natural product, but it is simply a chemical concoction. Vanilla and strawberry are two well known and commonly used examples. I think consumers need to educate themselves on what they are buying and eating and just how much fake ‘lar’ there is in the world.

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