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> What do flowers smell like?, genuine question
Witless
post Dec 15 2005, 03:02 PM
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I have virtually no sense of smell.. but it seems to me different people will say a rose (for example) smells like different things. This confuses me muchly.. I always think of smell as similar to taste (since they are supposedly similar senses). But yet most people can agree on when something tastes chocolately, or sweet. But people's opinion on smells seems as individual as the person smelling.

Are my observations wrong..? and if so just what do flowers smell like.. (think of something to compare them to). Thanks in advance.. it's been a question that's bugged me for years.


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LoLo
post Dec 15 2005, 03:19 PM
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Honestly describing what something smells like to someone who can't smell, is like describing a color to a blind person. We could smell a rose and say it smells like a rose and agree on it, because that what we know, but when you try to explain it and compare it to something else, that's when you get something odd.

My guess is with the taste thing, most people know what chocolate tastes like, so saying that something tastes chocolately is a something that can be agreed on.

My best description of what a rose smells like would be that it smells sweet, and a bit itchy and it gets worse when it's an artificle version of it. *shakes fist at allergies*


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Witless
post Dec 15 2005, 03:22 PM
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So... it doesn't actually smell like any other thing?


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Snugglebum the D...
post Dec 15 2005, 03:42 PM
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A rose smells like sweet grass clippings. Or is that just me? blink.gif


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Phyllis
post Dec 15 2005, 04:46 PM
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I think that's just you, Snuggs. o_O

I once knew someone who insisted all flowers smelled the same. He couldn't tell the difference between a rose and a lilac...which I think smell incredibly different.

I think the same thing Lo thinks...it's really hard to describe them to someone who can't smell very well. Rose petals are edible...so if you want to combine the taste and smell sensations there....hehe. Just make sure they're pesticide free.


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Calantyr
post Dec 15 2005, 04:54 PM
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Flowers smell like funerals.

/gothboi


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Kitty
post Dec 15 2005, 04:56 PM
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Well, most your sense of taste comes from your sense of smell....Thats why you cant really taste things too well when you have a cold, because you cant smell things! So I'm guessing, since the way your toung tastes things changes over the years, the way you smell things can also be different.

Worthy of research, I think!

Honestly I think roses smell like every other plant, just with an added bit of sweetness. But mostly just plant.


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Mata
post Dec 15 2005, 05:58 PM
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There are a few flowers I can tell the difference between, but mostly they smell pretty similar to me. Lillies have a very strong smell, and sometimes it's a bit too strong.

Flowers mostly smell like Parma Violets taste. They're an old-fashioned sweet with a slightly odd taste, and I think that they might be made with some sort of flower extract anyway, so that would explain the association in my mind.


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Witless
post Dec 15 2005, 06:24 PM
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Parma Violets huh? Interesting.. *goes to get some*


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Phyllis
post Dec 15 2005, 06:36 PM
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I disagree with the Parma Violets thing. Those taste like talcum powder smells...blegh.

Rose petals taste vaguely like apple skins with a hint of perfume, I guess. But maybe I'm weird because I can genuinely tell the difference between most types of flowers. They almost all have a very distinct individual smell to me.


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Calantyr
post Dec 15 2005, 06:40 PM
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Same here, I find that most flowers have a unique fragrance. Roses are more a dull envoloping pleasantness. Almost a silky smell to match the silkiness of their petals.

Lavendor I find has a sharper smell.

It's hard to describe them. It's like asking "What does orange taste like?" or "What does blue look like?"

Unless you compare them to other similar substances it's hard. However if you can't differentiate in the first place you can't use these comparisons.

ARGH!


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Witless
post Dec 15 2005, 06:48 PM
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So... taste and smell are entirely dissimilar then...?

besides even a blind person can know leafs are the same colour as grass without nessecarily knowing what the colour looks like. They learn by asking.


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Calantyr
post Dec 15 2005, 06:59 PM
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True. However if I told you that daisies smell like popcorn it wouldn't mean much if you didn't know what popcorn smelt like.


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Witless
post Dec 15 2005, 07:00 PM
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Ah I never knew i had to have a reason for curiousity tongue.gif


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Calantyr
post Dec 15 2005, 07:06 PM
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tongue.gif

It's not that at all. It's simply trying to figure out a comparison that would make sense. Otherwise it's like comparing frisbee's and stairwells. Sure you could draw some conclusions, but on the whole it doesn't help much.

For instance when I smell flowers I am reminded of things. Heather reminds me of the open moors of Scotland. Bluebells remind me of deep forests and bubbling brooks, roses remind me of happy summers in the garden, and carnations remind me of milk. *shrug*


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Witless
post Dec 15 2005, 07:16 PM
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QUOTE
For instance when I smell flowers I am reminded of things. Heather reminds me of the open moors of Scotland. Bluebells remind me of deep forests and bubbling brooks, roses remind me of happy summers in the garden, and carnations remind me of milk. *shrug*


Sorry failing to see where you're coming from.. I'm not asking for an explanation of the sensations you recieve when you smell things, I'm asking for a comparison of flowers to something else. If I was to describe what flowers looked like to a blind person, I'd say, bright and colourful.. looking like screwed up tissue paper. Not "sorry, you wouldn't get it".


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Greeneyes
post Dec 15 2005, 07:19 PM
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QUOTE (LoLo @ Dec 15 2005, 03:19 PM)
Honestly describing what something smells like to someone who can't smell, is like describing a color to a blind person.
*


But that's been done. There are artists who have been blind from birth and yet still create good paintings and recognisable portaits.

QUOTE (candice @ Dec 15 2005, 04:46 PM)
I think that's just you, Snuggs.  o_O

I once knew someone who insisted all flowers smelled the same.  He couldn't tell the difference between a rose and a lilac...which I think smell incredibly different.
*


I agree with Snuggs. Sort of. I think most flowers smell like grass. I don't think they all smell the same, but, maybe with a few exceptions, I couldn't tell which was which by smell, only that it's a different one. Again, with a few exceptions which I could possibly recognise, I really don't see what the big deal is with smelling the things.


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Calantyr
post Dec 15 2005, 07:21 PM
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But does 'colourful' mean anything to someone who has never seen colour before? I'm not sure if it's possible to imagine something that lies so far beyond what you are capable of percieving.

As for the momory bit, I meant the smell reminds me of the smells I experienced while in those memories. Unless you have the same memory as me and the sensations that go with them (the smells) it's hard to describe them to another.


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Witless
post Dec 15 2005, 07:29 PM
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Well.. I have no sense of smell.. and I'm finding people's comments helpful. End of story tongue.gif. *dusts off his hands*

Sweet huh? I guess that makes sense with the nectar in them and all. Do flowers actually smell like those potpury thingies, or anything like those air freshners people put in their cars, or is that wishful thinking on the manafacturers. (There is a use to wondering about this.. knowledge.. thanks in advance).


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Greeneyes
post Dec 15 2005, 07:30 PM
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It must mean something. Whether that thing in the same in their minds as in the minds of people who can see is a different matter. Point taken though. It would be interesting to find a description of something beyond a person's perception.

[/trailingoffintospam]

Edit: Pot pourri would be a good bet if you ask me.


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Calantyr
post Dec 15 2005, 07:34 PM
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QUOTE (Greeneyes @ Dec 15 2005, 08:30 PM)
It must mean something. Whether that thing in the same in their minds as in the minds of people who can see is a different matter. Point taken though. It would be interesting to find a description of something beyond a person's perception.


Lovecraft? wink.gif

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Witless
post Dec 15 2005, 07:36 PM
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hmm.. my girlfriend thinks it smells too chemically to smell like flowers.

On a side note.. tv for the blind exists with vivid descriptions of things occuring, evidently they appreciate at least "trying" to grasp what's going on visually.


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Phyllis
post Dec 15 2005, 08:30 PM
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QUOTE (Witless @ Dec 15 2005, 11:36 AM)
hmm.. my girlfriend thinks it smells too chemically to smell like flowers.
*

I'd agree. I don't think anything genuinely smells like flowers except...flowers. And I think I could tell what a flower was simply by smelling it (if I was familiar with it, obviously).

Some perfumes and candles come kind of close. I smelled a lilac candle once that actually smelled like lilacs...but most don't. Potporri often has other things like cinnamon in it as well, which I think drown out any flowery smell. And flowers smell different when they've dried...


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Witless
post Dec 15 2005, 09:10 PM
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Candles!!!

*hugs Cand*

Cheers


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Silver Star Ange...
post Dec 15 2005, 11:23 PM
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To me, flowers smell kind of soft, especially roses. The scents make me think of baby powder or expensive perfumes.


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