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Bracha for Scent Without Source

If the smell of an herb rubbed onto one’s hands, or is just in the air, may one make a bracha on it?

Thank You.


One does not recite a bracha on a smell that does not emanate from its original source. This is called “rei’ach she-ein lo ikar” (see Shulchan Aruch 216:7).

Therefore, one does not make a bracha upon smelling one’s hands, even if a fragrant herb was rubbed onto them.

All scents are “in the air,” and the principle is that one recites a bracha if the smell has a fragrant source that is present.

Best wishes.

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