Why is it that coffee in the can or fresh ground smells so wonderful – it smells brown like it looks – but tastes bitter? Let me back up a moment, I don’t drink coffee for many reasons, one of which is the taste. But I love the smell. Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum smells scrumptious with hints of caramel and chocolate, and doesn’t quite taste that way. Burning pot, which I tried in my “misspent” youth (all youth is misspent), at the first sniff, smells earthy, refreshing almost. It has minimal taste. Now when I smell burning pot, it makes me nauseous. Roses smell lightly sweet. Rose water has a small hint of that on the back pallet, but rose water also has (I think) a touch of sugar added.
And this is just me, mind you. I can’t say what these things taste or smell like to you. But being a writer (deity) I can make my characters react in anyway I want. Which is sort of besides the point. How often do things actually taste like they smell? Why is there a disconnect between the two senses?
When a wine connoisseur puts her long, somewhat canine noise into a glass of red wine and rhapsodizes about the bouquet, and then tastes the wine and spits it into the fancy bucket, finishing with “Ah, that was lovely. Hints of pine sap and a smooth finish of dog droppings,” I’ve gotta wonder. I’ve been to a few wine tastings. Yes, I’ve smelled the bouquet of both white and red wines. I’ve swirled and looked for legs. I’ve tasted and spit and then tried to describe what I was tasting. After about the third tasting, I don’t actually taste a difference because I’ve got a good buzz on…Still – the smell doesn’t match the taste. Often the smell complements the taste, and so the two are linked. Some people smell brewing coffee and go “Ah, coffee!” I smell brewing coffee and go “Nuts, I wish I liked that.”
Brainfacts.org has some information about taste and smell.
So, don’t forget Oh writer person (that’s me) to include taste and smell in descriptive passages.
Smell ya later