Which word below refers to the idea that a substance, an animal, or a plant has a specific quality that’s perceptible to our olfactory senses?

A. Aroma

B. Odor

C. Scent

D. Smell


According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, although scent, smell, odor and aroma are often used interchangeably, those four words mean slightly different things.  Scent applies to the specific smell given off by a substance, an animal, or a plant. (As in: this cabernet franc has the scent of violets).  Smell implies solely the sensation without suggestion of quality or character. (As in: a unique smell wafted out of the glass). Odor may imply a stronger or more readily distinguished scent or it may be equivalent to smell. (A wine with a strong odor). Aroma suggests a somewhat penetrating, usually pleasant odor. (The aroma of zinfandel just beginning to ferment).

Get WineSpeed

Join tens of thousands of other wine lovers. Get each week’s edition of WineSpeed delivered to your inbox every Friday. It’s fast. It’s free. It’s the smartest way to stay up to speed on wine.
Email address
First Name
Last Name
Be sure to check your inbox to confim your subscription.