by Kate Woodford
As adult humans, we can distinguish about 10,000 different smells. It’s no wonder, then, that we have so many words and expressions to describe them. This week we’re taking a look at those smell words – words that describe good smells and words that describe bad smells.
Most smell words are either positive or negative. ‘Smell’ itself, however, can be either good or bad, depending on the words around it. ‘I love the smell of baking bread.’ is perfectly possible, as is ‘It’s a horrible smell, like rotten eggs.’ Interestingly, without an adjective before it, or some other information, it seems usually to refer to a bad smell: Have you noticed the smell in the bathroom?/I can’t get rid of the smell. The derived adjective smelly, meanwhile, is always bad: smelly feet/smelly socks. Read the rest of this entry »