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  • Betrifft

    scent and stench

    Hello, does anybody know the exact difference between scent, odour and fragrance (and on the other hand stench and stink)? Einem Deutschen fällt es saumäßig schwer, das passende Wort zu finden - und bald kommt ja Weihnachten und überall ist der Duft von Lebkuchen: scent - odour - fragrance of ginger bread...
    VerfasserDanD (383344) 08 Nov. 07, 19:17
    the smell of ginger bread


    They are truly gorgeous and will fill your home with the warm smell of ginger bread. Our gourmet Christmas houses are made of scrumptious ginger bread, ...
    #1Verfasser Helmi (U.S.) (236620) 08 Nov. 07, 19:22
    ginger bread can also have a fragrance. :-)
    #2Verfasserdude08 Nov. 07, 19:29
    Sure dude, when you splash some aftershave over it. :-)))
    #3Verfasser Helmi (U.S.) (236620) 08 Nov. 07, 19:32
    You can also use scent:
    As the scent of gingerbread fills the air...
    #4Verfasser miamibremen (279037) 08 Nov. 07, 19:39
    @Helmi: no aftershave needed, unless yo got hairy gingerbread. :-) But seriously, "fragrance" implies it's a seductive, delicate smell, something gingerbread may well be capable of, at least for some.
    #5Verfasserdude08 Nov. 07, 19:43
    Hi Helmi, what for the world is an American "gourmet Christmas house?" I live in THE city of ginger bread, Nuremberg, and we also know Christmas houses, made of the typical pastry (for children or romantic people) - But the highest pleasure are those pieces of ginger bread called "Elisen-Lebkuchen", which don't contain any (or very few) flour..
    Our German Christmas houses are more for decoration and not as scrumptious as you describe your American ones...
    it sounds verrry mouth-watering...
    #6VerfasserDanD (383344) 08 Nov. 07, 19:50
    To me, fragrance implies something that smells like something else. I might be wrong, don't quote me on it. Like perfume s have the fragrance of flowers, the air freshener has the fragrance of pine trees, etc.
    #7Verfasser miamibremen (279037) 08 Nov. 07, 19:54
    OK, ich glaube, ich habe verstanden: fragrance ist für Parfüm und smell und scent ist etwas vorbehalten, was lecker riecht.

    Und - Themawechsel - wie ist es mit stink und stench - was verwende ich wofür?
    #8VerfasserDanD (383344) 08 Nov. 07, 20:01
    'stink' und 'stench' riechen sehr übel (beides heißt "Gestank")
    #9Verfasser penguin (236245) 08 Nov. 07, 20:03
    Yeah. like the dead skunk in the middle of the road, stinkin' to high heaven. ::-)))

    Or the stench of a cadaver.
    #10Verfasser Helmi (U.S.) (236620) 08 Nov. 07, 20:09
    Stench is more formal.

    Stink is much more casual and not very polite; not a bad word, that is, just not very vornehm. (A child might say, Ew, it stinks in here, but in public, a parent would probably correct that to, It doesn't smell very good, or There's a bad smell in here.) Both are always strong bad smells.

    Odor is also rather formal and in modern use I would say more likely to be bad than good, euphemistic for stink That is, for a good smell we would often add a positive adjective. But there may be a few collocations where it's more common. I think we might say the odor of incense in a church, for example.

    One place where only scent is used is for the trail of an animal, for example, what hunting dogs or police dogs track, or what attracts other animals in mating season.

    I agree that as a synonym for perfume and cologne, fragrance is the most common, but scent is also possible, though that may be somewhat dated or BE usage. For other pleasant smells either scent or fragrance is fine. But I also agree that both are probably more often used for artificially produced smells (air freshener, scented candles, incense used at home, that kind of thing).

    For cooking things like gingerbread, or outdoor things like real pine trees or a wood fire, I personally would probably just say (wonderful) smell. Fragrance or scent in that kind of context sounds more literary or poetic to my ears.

    Hard to say, really, without concrete examples.

    #11Verfasser hm -- us (236141) 08 Nov. 07, 21:33
    Scent and fragrance are both fine for flowers, though, so they're not necessarily artificial.
    #12Verfasser hm -- us (236141) 08 Nov. 07, 21:36
    Wow, hm, ist das toll! Vielen Dank!

    Und vielen Dank auch an alle anderen, die sich dieses "anrüchigen" Themas angenommen haben!
    #13VerfasserDanD (383344) 08 Nov. 07, 21:53
    Just to round-out hm's list:

    Redolence is another word for a smell, generally a pleasant mixture of scents, ie. the redolence of a pine forest after a rain storm.

    Fragrance is generally a sweet smell, so a roast joint of meat would (imo) not ever be fragrant, though gingerbread might if you were feeling very poetic.
    A very sweet-smelling scent can also be referred to as a perfume, ie. the perfume of a rose, though here it is not the perfume in a bottle.

    Scent is less poetic than fragrance, imo, and is often used with reference to the smell of foods, esp those with strong-smelling spices like cinnamon, ginger or cloves.

    And last but not least, you can combine fragrance and scent or smell for a strong pleasant odor: the fragrant scent/smell of ...
    #14Verfasser Selkie (236097) 09 Nov. 07, 08:12
    smell is a safe all round bet.It covers most situations. The smell of the flowers on a summer evening or of someone frying chicken (pleasing) the smell of someone's dirty socks or bad breath (unpleasant)
    aroma,fragrance,perfume = nouns
    smell(noun)the smell of onions/smell(verb)I smell coffee/if I eat garlic, my breath smells,I can smell garlic and I can smell of garlic
    #15VerfasserJGMcI (349178) 09 Nov. 07, 10:11
    Oh! And I forgot scent. Scent is out dated,perfume is to-day's word,but dogs can still be on the scent of something
    #16VerfasserJGMcI (349178) 09 Nov. 07, 10:16
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