Blessings over Fragrance II

  1. On a fragrance from a tree we say the blessing borei atzei b’samim.
    On herbs: borei isvei b’samim.
    A person cannot fulfill his obligation to recite a blessing on a fragrance
    from a tree by reciting the blessing for fragrant herbs. Nor can he
    fulfill his obligation to recite a blessing on fragrant herbs by reciting
    the blessing for a fragrance from a tree. But if a person recites the
    blessing borei minei b’samim on either one of them, he has fulfilled his
    obligation to recite a blessing. In doubtful cases, it is the blessing
    which should be recited.

  2. If several kinds of fragrant objects (wood, herbs, etc)
    are mixed together or combined in such a way that they cannot be smelled
    separately, the blessing borei minei b’samim should be recited.

  3. Even when myrtle branches, upon which we would
    ordinarily recite the blessing borei atzei b’samim are used in havdalah, we recite the blessing
    borei minei b’samim because not everyone is familiar with the blessings and this blessing is
    suitable for all kinds of fragrance. Whenever the blessing borei atzei
    b’samim
    is recited, the branches should be held as they grow.

  4. We do not recite a blessing for a fragrance unless the
    source of the fragrance is present. Therefore, we do not recite a blessing
    over the residual fragrance of an empty spice box.

  5. Since we are forbidden to derive benefit from fruits
    that are orlah, we do not recite a blessing over them even if they have
    been cultivated for their fragrance.

  6. When reciting a blessing over fragrance, the source of
    the fragrance should be held in the right hand so that the blessing will
    be said with more focus and concentration. Nevertheless, b’dieved a
    blessing that is said when the object isn’t held at all is also valid.

  7. If a person takes a fragrant object, recites a blessing
    and smells it and then puts it down without any intention of smelling it
    again, he recites a blessing again if he decides to smell it. But if he
    had in mind to smell it again, he does not recite an additional blessing,
    even if he left his house, so long as he left with the idea of returning
    right away.

  8. If a person is about to eat something and to smell a
    fragrant object, he should recite the blessing before eating (and taste
    the food) before reciting the blessing for fragrance. Food is considered
    more important than fragrance because it enters the body.