Lexicon of smell
It’s well known among people who work in the area of olfaction that the English language is a wasteland when it comes to vocabulary for scent. This is especially painful when it is your job to describe perfume and constantly have to resort to “smells like” or “has the smell of” over and over. The Lexicon of Smell is an experimental ongoing glossary of neologisms. It offers a new vocabulary to go alongside the more descriptive vignettes of The Language of Smell. Here's a preview:
abatteath - (noun) the scent of accumulated bloody deaths in one spot, as in an abattoir.
artesiance - (noun) the scent of artesian springs like Silver Springs, Florida.
gelateal - (adjective) smelling congealed, gelatinous, or jellied.
gumstope - (adjective) having the scent of starch based adhesive or gum used to line the flaps of envelopes or previously the backs of stamps, activated by moisture (in practice usually saliva).
manatush - (adjective) smelling rubbery, leathery, aquatic and earthy, like a manatee.
melgic - (adjective) having a baked dessert scent of eggs and lemon, characteristic of lemon curd and lemon bars; having a baked lemon custard aroma.
mirry - (adjective) smelling pungent, eye watering, furry, warm, and of ammonia and nitrogen. Like the aroma one experiences on a sunny, hot spring day, walking past landscaping freshly dressed with manure.
moriume - (noun) the odor of brackish water, as encountered in estuaries, mangrove swamps (mangals), marshes, lagoons, and deltas.
suicess - (noun) a scent that is salty and putrid, characteristic of seawater soaked clay that has dried out, sulphur and still air; a smell that is heavy, and hot, evoking a slough with mud flats, cracked earth, birds and flies.
tarsea - (adjective) smelling of ocean tar, like the tar seeping up into the sand at Coal Oil Point, Isla Vista, California.
Visit the ongoing lexical project here.
Copyright 2021 Abby Hinsman for Wild Veil Perfume.