My Philosophy of Smell

Onions reek of tears. Mushrooms have the same aroma of the earth. Grapefruits fill one’s nose with deceitfulness. A whiff of a ripe banana is unfriendly and a clementine aggressive. An apple has a soft radiant quality to it, like raw spinach, which resembles the scent of the sun, while lemons provide an adventurous scent that teleports about the room. Garlic smells hateful. Cinnamon is flirtatious; honey bitter and seductive. Oregano is less attractive but captivating in its promise of sweetness. Grapes flaunt their pureness; cloves their promiscuity; carrots their indifference. Ginger holds a sour resentfulness in one’s nose. Nutmeg functions as its lighter alternative. Cayenne pepper and jalapenos make hot a smell. Vanilla is pleasing and warm, so unlike the prickly scent of vinegar, yet much like the delightful tenderness of blueberries. With one’s eyes closed raisins can be mistaken for polluted grapes. Peaches perfume the air with sophistication; pears fall somewhere between the former fruits, not too meek and not too feisty. Watermelons, and only watermelons, have the fragrance of second chances.

(Originally published at the Eunoia Review here.)

21 comments on “My Philosophy of Smell

  1. Cassa Bassa says:

    Oh this is brilliant Ben! I love it!!!!!

  2. V.J. Knutson says:

    Very creative. Had a chuckle over a few of them – grapefruit in particular.

  3. Brandi says:

    This is absolutely amazing! I can literally smell these things and, while reading your descriptions about them, it gives a whole new meaning to them! This is totally creative and beautiful, Benjamin!

  4. Judy Kim says:


  5. tara caribou says:

    Oh I really enjoyed this! So creative. It made my mind think of all kinds of ideas… I love that! You’ve inspired me.

    • bejamin4 says:

      That’s great you’re inspired. I wonder how others smell things, feel things, taste things, since I’m sure it’s not always the same for everyone. Maybe we all have a little different sense to it all.

  6. Nadine says:

    Ok I just want to have an argument with you on most of this. 😂😉
    Beautiful writing exercise, and I love the view into your olfactory mind.
    My favourite line: “Peaches perfume the air with sophistication” — I never thought of a peach that way before, and I think it’s beautiful to think of them that way; quite fine. 🍑💛 👌

  7. Kritika says:

    This is amazing. In love with this!

  8. Lia says:

    The writing is so so brilliant. I love the decisiveness of the voice. I sometimes wish I had that. Creative and masterful!!

    I love garlic, it has so many healing benefits and antiviral/antibacterial/antifungal properties. However, it could be said to be “hateful” to what it helps battle. And those life forms are valid and necessary too. So again, brilliant. Love reading you!!

    • bejamin4 says:

      Thanks a lot. That’s a very thoughtful comment. But you know your voice is there too, I must say! It’s very unique.

      • Lia says:

        Well, thank you sir! :)) It doesn’t feel like it’s there. But I’m glad it’s unique…. thank you. :)) Hope you will write more soon. :))

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