Imagine there's food being cooked on stove and you feel the pleasant smell and it somehow makes you mad! You want to keep smelling or walk to the kitchen and get some of it to eat.

What verb would you use to explain the situation?

The only verb that comes to my mind is dazzle, but I check it in the dictionary (LDOCE-subscription only) and the second definition is:

to impress someone very much by being or doing something very exciting and unusual - used especially in news reports

The Princess’s off-the-shoulder dress dazzled the waiting crowds.

As a speaker he would dazzle listeners with his brilliant wordplay and witty remarks.

And that doesn't seem to be right for this situation and we also know that the other meaning is when you're dazzled by a light of some sort.

Checking the Thesaurus I notice the other verb to be knocked out, but again I don't think it's appropriate.

In Persian we have a general word for being drunk and we'd use it for pleasant smells as well, so what's the smell equivalent of being dazzled or drunk in English?

To explain this a bit more, I'm looking for a word that would describe the images below:

enter image description here

nice scent

  • 7
    These images illustrate the inadequacies of the language. Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 23:24
  • I don't think there is a single word, but I would say a phrase would likely contain "aroma" or "bouquet", which both refer to the odors of foods in a positive manner. Other possible, though perhaps somewhat overly poetic, words might be "perfume" and "fragrance".
    – wfaulk
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 1:41
  • You're going at this the wrong way. Instead of trying to find a verb to use in a passive construction, either try something more active (think: pie as agent of scrumptious aroma) or use a metaphor. Not all writing problems can be solved with a thesaurus.
    – Robusto
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 1:51
  • What's wrong with drunk? -overcome or dominated by a strong feeling or emotion: drunk with power; drunk with joy. -TFD ; in this case, hunger or desire.
    – Mazura
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 21:56
  • how about snozzled? okay - might not be a word, but can I coin it?
    – HorusKol
    Commented Dec 11, 2014 at 4:08

13 Answers 13


Intoxicate: to excite or please (someone) in a way that suggests the effect of alcohol or a drug.

I was intoxicated by the intoxicating aroma coming from the kitchen

  • 10
    If you ask me, ...intoxicated by the intoxicating... is a little redundantly redundant if you ask me.
    – Tim S.
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 15:47
  • 1
    You're absolutely and positively correct! Either parenthesis or brackets around "intoxicating" would have helped to avoid that issue, but "the intoxicating aroma" in its pure and undiluted form smelled so good to me that I just couldn't resist it!
    – Papa Poule
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 16:24
  • I hate gluing PVC joints. The smell is intoxicating and if at all possible I head in the other direction for a while.
    – Mazura
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 20:35
  • 1
    “Glue heads” would probably enjoy that “smell,” but yeah, I fudged a bit and used the synonym “aroma,” instead of “smell” with “intoxicating” to try to help to make my case. You’re right “inTOXICating smells” don’t intoxicate the same way that "intoxicating aromas” do.
    – Papa Poule
    Commented Dec 11, 2014 at 0:36

Bewitched or any of its many near synonyms seems appropriate:

To place under one's power by or as if by magic; cast a spell over. - TFD

captivated, entranced, enthralled, mesmerized, transfixed, etc.

Rudd brands, arrived at Anchor in 2011 and was immediately mesmerized by the aroma of hops permeating the brewery and distillery. - Weekly Pint

  • 3
    I'm not sure about bewitched (it's much stronger than dazzled and you're usually bewitched by a person, not a physical phenomenon); however, all the other suggestions work well.
    – AmeliaBR
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 1:00
  • 2
    Enchanted would work as well.
    – Nicole
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 2:57
  • 1
    While technically this definition fits what the OP is looking for, I've personally never heard bewitched used this way, and I'm not sure it applies.
    – user50519
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 4:56

I would use drawn (by or to), especially for the aroma of food or drink. It is also a good fit for the pictures that you provided. In the cartoons, the characters are physically drawn to the aroma and it is a depiction of this figurative speech.

Entering the market you are immediately drawn by the aroma of freshly baked apple cider donuts coming from the ovens. [Daily Collegian]

It Makes No Scents Researcher Says Women Drawn By The Aroma Of Male Sweat [philly.com]

You can consider lured or allured if it is a scent like of a flower or perfume. You can apply to animals too.

Bees are lured by the scent of flowers.

She was lured by the smell of his aftershave.


Personally I would use overpowered, or overcome.

I was overcome by the aroma of baking bread, which reminded me that I had not eaten for 24 hours.

Dazzling has to do with light, and the eyes - something altogether different.

  • 1
    "Overpowered" can easily be (mis-) understood to imply negative impressions, as in "too much smell".
    – DevSolar
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 10:01
  • That's right WS2, as I've already mentioned it in my post, but it also has that second meaning in the dictionary which isn't directly related to lights, but all in all, I know dazzle isn't the right word here.
    – Neeku
    Commented Dec 23, 2014 at 0:50

I was bedazzled by the aroma of peaches and pineapples coming from the kitchen.

bedazzle - To dazzle so completely as to make blind, to please irresistibly, enchant TFD

  • 1
    The question is for an alternative to dazzle, since dazzle specifically refers to the sense of sight.
    – AmeliaBR
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 1:01
  • 3
    dazzle and bedazzle are not synonymous.
    – Centaurus
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 1:11
  • 2
    @Centaurus: But doesn't the very definition of "bedazzle" that you quoted explicitly refer to "dazzle"?
    – DevSolar
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 9:59

I like "entranced" or "allured". They have a positive connotation and your pictures both show positive reactions to the scent, while "overpowered" and "overcame" are neutral in tone at best, and easily slip into negative connotation. Inebriated and intoxicated have too many drug connotations. "Bedazzled" seems to visual for me, recalling dazzle camouflage. "Mesmerized" and "transfixed" are typically used to describe the reaction of eyes; although this could be said for entranced as well, scents are often used to get into a trance state.


I think "entice" is a good word in this context.

  • 1
    Welcome to English Language & Usage @somanyJunsus. We're looking for answers with more detail. Your post would be improved by explaining why you think that, and quoting from your source.
    – user63230
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 7:42

It is not strictly related to the sense of smell, but I would use the word "overwhelmed" in this context.

  • 1
    The OP is referring to positive smells, such as food. When I think of smells that are "overwhelming", it usually brings to mind unpleasant smells, such as sewage, noxious chemical fumes, etc... Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 15:25
  • Funny - not me. I can certainly find some nice scents overwhelming as well. Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 16:16
  • Interesting. The only times I've heard people use "overwhelming" to refer to a smell is when it's either a very strong and bad smell, or sometimes too much (to the point of being unpleasant) of a good smell. Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 16:41

In both those images the character is carried away by the aroma or fragrance. Odors can trigger olfactory memories, perhaps of a delicious slice of home-baked pie, or the pheromones that help bond a baby to a particular pair of maternal breasts.

  • You are carried away by emotions; when you get overexcited, over emotional or overworked by something. It can be used either positively or negatively. To be carried away by a smell, is not idiomatic, there may be instances on Google when that combination of words are used but it just sounds odd.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 5:13
  • @Mari-LouA More commonly expressed as "it brings me back" but I can't think of anything closer, and the other answers seem a bit 'off' as well. Maybe there are no good words for swooning to the smell of a warm chocolate croissant. Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 5:19

I think inebriated may convey the idea:

  • exhilarated or stupefied by or as if by alcohol; invigorated.

  • stupefied or excited by a chemical substance.

  • the inebriating smell of ripe fruit.

  • smelling the inebriating perfumes wafting from vegetable and flower gardens.

(from TFD)

  • 5
    I would not use inebriate for any sense other than actually impaired by chemicals; however, intoxicate (suggested by Papa Poule) would work for your example sentences. Just don't ask me to explain the logic, given that the two words are otherwise synonyms.
    – AmeliaBR
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 0:55
  • @AmeliaBR - have you ever heard about 'figurative sense'?
    – user66974
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 6:15

Captivated - I was captivated by the rich aroma emanating from the kitchen.

Captivate - to attract and hold the attention or interest of, as by beauty or excellence - in this context - excellence

  • 1
    perhaps it's escaped your attention but medica's post also suggested captivated. I didn't upvote your post for this reason alone.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Dec 11, 2014 at 11:02

Seduced. I would have walked past but I was seduced by the scent of baking, of apple pie wafting out her open door.


"Aromatically pleased" or "aromatically delighted."

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