There are foods that taste amazing, but smell less so, then there are some that both smell and taste fantastic, and finally there are things that smell sublime but which you might never want to actually pass your lips.
Everyone has their own favourite food scents. Some of them are intertwined with memories, and can send us back to other times and places, while some are merely aromas that turn our noses on.
Here, in no particular order, are 15 of my personal favourites.
Fresh citrus zest
It could be orange or grapefruit, but especially lemon or lime. Citrus zest smells divine. Fresh, summery and invigorating, this is the kind of smell that makes you really feel alive.
One of the scent highlights of walking through a city centre in the winter are the roasted chestnut sellers. I’m not actually a big fan of eating them at all, but the smell always makes me smile.
Freshly baked bread with oodles of butter
I don’t know how anyone can work in a bakery and not be clinically obese. The aroma that rises off of freshly baked bread makes me just want to shovel it into my mouth.
It’s a sad fact that vanilla pods are hideously expensive. If you can’t afford to cook with real vanilla, then use vanilla extract, but keep one vanilla pod in a sealed tin and just open the lid and sniff it every so often, it’s amazing.
I start salivating when the first hint of Peking duck passes underneath my nose. It must be partially the anticipation of the taste to come, but the smell stands up on it’s own as well.
It smells of the sea and of hospitals. That doesn’t sound too appealing, but sometimes the best things don’t, and the aroma of Ardbeg is one of the very best things.
Garlic frying in butter
Not all of the way through the frying process, but just at that moment when the butter is foamy and the garlic starts to turn that beautiful golden colour.
Not the horrible hydroponic strawberries that you get in winter, they have no smell at all. Good in-season ripe strawberries, the kind that you can smell long before you can see them.
It doesn’t matter if it is grilled or fried, the smell never changes. It’s instantly recognisable and it carries on the air for what seems like miles. Surely, only the most strong willed vegetarian can not feel hungry when it catches them.
Bitter chocolate truffles with lavender
This is much more subtle than everything else on this list, you have to actually have a sniff to get the aroma out of them. Once you do though, it’s mesmerising, it’s almost a hard decision whether to eat them or just keep on breathing in.
Crushed fresh mint
Mint leaves broken down in a cocktail like a mojito, or just torn up to be used in cooking. As soon as you break them, they let out that amazing pefume that hangs enticingly in the air.
I don’t even know why I like the smell of cloves, is it something Christmassy perhaps, or just that comforting and warming spiciness that makes you feel homely and safe?
Freshly ground coffee as steam passes through it at high pressure, forcing all of the flavour and aroma out of that little nozzle into your cup and up to your nose. Somehow the scent can instantly make your kitchen feel much warmer on a cold winters morning.
It had to be on the list somewhere, cinnamon is just one of those smells that (almost) everyone adores. It’s exotic and spicy, and transports you off to spice markets on tropical islands.
New Zealand Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
It’s summer in a bottle, it’s berries and vine fruits, it’s citrus and grapes, it’s sheer joy. Just for the record this one also absolutely tastes as good as it smells.
You can use the comment form below to let us know what food smells make you go all warm inside.