AFAIK, the only "smelly" bracha we make is when smelling spices. good smelling twigs and good smelling fruit. It seems that the bracha should be made on "raw" items, only.

Apparently, the sages instituted a bracha for smelling something "nice", but whay was this limited to just raw items. The concept of birkat hanehenin is that you should make a blessing before you "enjoy" or "benefit" from something, with smell being one of the senses used for such "enjoyment".

So, if I enjoy the smell of goat curry (assume that my butcher sells me kosher goat in the NYC area), and I know and recognize the smell of turmeric and cloves when they are cooking, why is there no bracha for that smell?


1 Answer 1


In fact there is a discussion in the Shulchan Aruch(Rama) OC 216 regarding making a bracha on the smell of hot bread. Since it is a safek it is best not to smell it year round specifically for its pleasant smell. There are those who hold even if you did smell it you shouldn't make a bracha.

יד. המריח באתרוג של מצוה מברך עליו ויש אומרים שאינו מברך לכך נכון שלא להריח בו. הגה: יש אומרים דהמריח בפת חם יש לו לברך שנתן ריח טוב בפת (אבודרהם ובית יוסף סימן רצ''ו בשם אורחות חיים) ויש אומרים דאין לברך עליו (בית יוסף) לכך אין להריח בו

  • Does anyone nowadays disagree with your last (English) sentence?
    – Double AA
    Commented Nov 17, 2015 at 3:34
  • Interesting. But, seriously, how can you not smell freshly baking challah?
    – DanF
    Commented Nov 17, 2015 at 14:26

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