Odour tickling the palate

Discussion in 'English Only' started by redgiant, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. redgiant Senior Member

    Cantonese, Hong Kong
    I just came up with this sentence:

    A little bit of shrimp paste will add zing/zest to your ordinary burger and pizza. Its distinctive flavor and sharp odor will tickle even the dullest palate.

    I'm interested in the reasons behind the objection to the idea of odour tickling one's palate. Is that because "odour" sounds a bit negative to you? (Google returns a few pictures of people pinching their noses on the first page for "odour" :)) Would the more positive alternative "fragrance" be good enough to tickle your palate?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 14, 2014
  2. secretlife

    secretlife Senior Member

    North West England
    British English
    Fragrance wouldn't work for me because it is more for a perfume or for very perfumey-like herbs - I certainly wouldn't say shrimp paste had a fragrance:)
  3. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    I agree with secretlife, red giant. "Fragrance" should mean "sweet smell". You're probably stuck with "odor" or "smell" when you are describing the smell of shrimp paste. "Sharp smell" makes sense to me. I've seen the phrase used when people are writing about food that has strong odors.
  4. Edinburgher Senior Member

    German/English bilingual
    No, it has nothing to do with positive or negative. A fragrance is still an odour, a smell. All I meant was that I associate the palate more with taste than smell.
  5. loghrat Senior Member

    British English / Danish
    To me, a 'sharp odour' definitely has a negative connotation. I wouldn't use 'smell' either. And I agree with secretlife that 'fragrance' doesn't go well with shrimp paste.

    I'd leave out the olfactory (= of or relating to the sense of smell) aspect and just stick with 'distinctive flavour'.
  6. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima (English Only)

    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Moderator note: this thread has been split from this other thread about zing and zest.
  7. waltern Senior Member

    English - USA
    I would use "aroma".
  8. Beryl from Northallerton Senior Member

    British English
    If it's strong, and it's smelly, I think 'pungency' (= a sharp taste or smell) is le mot juste - it might even tickle your palate.

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