I have seen a few people encrust their "used" etrog with cloves and smell this during the havdallah service. Is this permissible?

The reason I think this is a problem:

The bracha on smelling the etrog which is a fruit is הנותן רח טוב בפרות - Who gives a good smell in fruits.

This is an entirely different bracha from the one on the cloves which is בורא מיני בשמים - Who creates varieties of spices. This is the bracha said during havdallah.

From what I can tell, when you smell the clovetrog (no, it's not a kind of monster!) you smell a mix of both the cloves and etrog.

I know that there is a concept of ikar and tafel regarding brachot made prior to eating food. Is there a similar concept regarding the bracha to make for smelling?

In the case of the havdallah bracha, would the cloves be considered ikar, here, and the bracha is finie for the clovetrog? Should one make two brachot? Should one not use the clovetrog at all for havdallah b/c of a doubt of the correct bracha?

Update: I see that there is a M.Y. question that answers which bracha to make on the clovetrog. There are various opinions on this. So, in answering this question, please focus on whether a clovetrog may be used for havdalah. Is there anyone that definitively answers this, or does it strictly depend on which bracha would be made? Or, because of doubts, would it be best not to use this at all for havdallah? (I see many people use it, perhaps, unaware of the "problems".)

  • If you decide to vote to close as a dupe, please comment why. There may be an aspect I'm not seeing.
    – DanF
    Nov 7, 2018 at 22:39
  • The blessing on cloves by themselves is not 'Borei mine basamim'. The blessing for that part of havdalah specifically requires multiple types of scents, of which etrog could be one. However, from a practical perspective, the etrog loses scent fairly rapidly. It is really only being used as a holder for the more pungent smells. And this is more positive than simply throwing your old etrog in the trash. Nov 7, 2018 at 23:10
  • @YaacovDeane I think the most relevant part of your comment is - " from a practical perspective, the etrog loses scent fairly rapidly". I've noticed etrog smell in this object. If, in fact, there's no smell at all, then the answer seems obviously besamim. Otherwise, I wonder if there's a concept of ikar / tafel when it comes to mixed smelly items. Similar to a question I asked about being in a scented forest which has a combo of fruits and fragrant herbs. (Not so strange. Near me, on a beach, prickly pears ("sabras") grow next to sage.)
    – DanF
    Nov 7, 2018 at 23:17
  • @YaacovDeane it's Rosh Chodesh Kislev. My esrog is still in the refrigerator and still smells good.
    – Heshy
    Nov 8, 2018 at 1:19
  • My concern would be if making an etrog-clove "pomander" is considered a potential problem of chukoseihem, since I think these types of devices were at least originally religiously significant in Christianity.
    – Loewian
    Nov 8, 2018 at 1:41


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