A-Z Challenge, Challenges by Sarah

O is for Olfactory

olfactory (adj.) relating to the sense of smell

I recently stumbled across this old journal article and was intrigued by the sentiment and questions posed within:

Source: Coleman, Francis J. “Can a Smell or a Taste or a Touch Be Beautiful?” American Philosophical Quarterly, vol. 2, no. 4, 1965, pp. 319–324. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/20009182. Accessed 12 Apr. 2021.

For me, I certainly disagree with these aestheticians. There IS beauty in touch, and taste, and smell. I was startled to learn this was not a common view point.

For the purposes of my post (which is focusing on “O”) I wish to explore the beauty of the olfactory.

Undeniably, there is comfort, contentment and excitement in smell. Are these things, not things of beauty?


– A freshly brewed cup of coffee, tantalising our sense of smell, providing anticipation to jumpstart our day?

– The tangy salty stinging in our nostrils as we inhale the beach on a windy day, reminding us that we are alive and in the presence of awesome nature?

– The scent of eucalyptus trees and scrubby bushes after the rain, symbolising the new growth and nourishment of life


– The smell of nanna’s perfume lingering on a blanket she crocheted, bringing her into my presence, even though she’s long gone?

These things are beautiful. But most importantly, they are precious. And I will shamelessly declare the beauty of smell, to anyone who will listen…especially at the dinner table!

3 thoughts on “O is for Olfactory”

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