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Making a Bracha on a smell test.

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Some members of my family are required to take a "smell test" in order to attend school each day.
Are they required to make a bracha בורא מיני בשמים like when usually smelling nice things, or is this considered a special case and they wouldn't have to1?

  1. It happens to be that they use Besamim (from havdalah), but I don't think it would make a difference.

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7 comments

The fact that is is Besamim may be very relevant. As I understand it, smelling spices and similar grown items gets a Bracha but artificial smells do not. (No source, I heard this many years ago.) My guess though is that this would be similar to questions regarding medicine - e.g., perhaps like a chewable vitamin which is Derech Achila (unlike a pill swallowed whole) but for purely medicinal purposes. ‭manassehkatz‭ 20 days ago

I really don't understand the point of this test. Not everyone who has COVID loses their sense of smell. Also, they ask the child if they smell? What's to stop them from saying they do? ‭robev‭ 20 days ago

@robev I 100% agree. Smell is the easiest thing to fake an answer to, unless you start including non-smelling items in a blind test - and then the people will claim they smelled something in the air (which could really be true). I think that's why the non-contact thermometer tests are so popular - you can't fake it. (Well, unless you take tylenol an hour before you go to the store/school/etc., but nobody would ever do such a thing, right?) ‭manassehkatz‭ 20 days ago

Mod note: The main point of comments is to discuss potential improvements to the post at hand. For tangent discussions, consider using chat. UPDATE: This note was based on a concept from Stack Exchange that I had in my head, but that hasn't been firmly adopted here. We'll discuss commenting in Meta. I've undeleted the previously-deleted comments, and my suggestion to take this tangential discussion to Chat stands as a suggestion. ‭Isaac Moses‭ 19 days ago

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