"fragrance" means also smell....but why many people always said when someone said that this smell is so good.. .and ..other one said that that is "fragrance"..lol.... why? tell me please....thank you

  • All words have colors and connotations. One of smell's is "bad smell". It all depends on context and usage (and during live conversation, tone of voice, body language, etc). – Dan Bron Jul 26 '20 at 14:16
  • If you said you liked a woman's smell, that would be considered very rude. You like her fragrance. – Michael Harvey Jul 26 '20 at 14:31
  • Not only do all words have well recognised connotations and more subjective (person- or group-specific) ones, their different collocations have different connotations too (as Michael illustrates). 'Fragrance' is a more refined word, but 'smell', especially the verb, is fine in neutral contexts (Your room smells nice and fresh).. – Edwin Ashworth Jul 26 '20 at 14:47
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    "Smell" can have many positive associations, but does need qualification. For instance when a hungry person enters a kitchen where a meal is cooking they will often say "Something smells good" and in a garden the sentence "Those flowers smell lovely" is frequently said. It's even possible to complement someone on their perfume by saying "My, you smell gorgeous", especially if you are emotionally involved with them. Used without a qualifier, however, "smell" is almost always negative. "What's that smell?" Is almost always synonymous with "What's that awful stink?". – BoldBen Jul 26 '20 at 14:57
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    Also there is a story attributed to Dr Johnson of dictionary fame which says that a lady said to him "You smell" to which he replied "No madam, you smell, I stink". This tends to show that in the 18th century the meaning of the verb "to smell" was undergoing, or had just undergone, a change in meaning to include not just "the exercise of the sense of smell" analagous to the verb "to hear" but also to include the emission of odour, analogous to "to sound". The verb "to stink" always had that meaning so Johnson was making the distinction between the verbs. – BoldBen Jul 26 '20 at 15:10

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