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A positive alternative to “smelling” to describe something with a pleasant odor

What do you call a smell that is good? I've been wondering this question since childhood.


I agree with tchrist, but I also think of a good smell, such as bread baking, as an aroma.

There is also redolence, which is defined as:

pleasant odor; fragrance


I totally agree with aroma and fragrance as the best two choices, but for added variety, here are a couple more:

  • perfume, especially in the verb sense of 'to impart a pleasant smell'

  • scent, which is often used objectively, but (especially as an adjective - a scented kerchief) can also connote a pleasant smell.

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