Question:

Does smelling essential oil require a bracha

Answer:

When we smell fragrances, or even oil that has fragrances mixed into it or fragrant plants soaking in it, and it absorbed the smell we make a bracha. The bracha will depend on the type of fragrance that the oil has. As a side point, if the oil has such a fragrance only because the plants were soaked in it, and now all of the plant was removed, then it is questionable, and the bracha would be borei minie bsamim. However according to the research that we did, it seems that essential oils get their fragrance by steaming the plants and the cooked vapor is put into the oils. This would be considered like having the actual plant in the oil and the bracha would be the same as if the actual plant was smelled.

Sources:

M:B 216 29-31, Sharei Habracha 19-21, conversation with R’ Stitzberg, author of Sharei Habracha.

Tags: brachos smell

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