We are beginning siman 2. There are multiple brachos determined by Chazal for smell:
- The most general bracha is borei minei besamim.
- Borei isvei besamim is for items which grow as grasses.
- Borei atzei besamim is for items which grow on trees or tree-like plants.
- Fruits which have a beautiful smell are asher nosan reiach tov bapeiros.
- Oil which has a beautiful smell is borei shemen areiv.
The Chayei Adam begins with asher nosan reiach tov bapeiros.
The Chayei Adam writes that the bracha of asher nosan reiach tov bapeiros only applies to a fruit which is edible. Since it is edible, we thank Hashem for both the edible fruit and good smell.
If the fruit can only be consumed within a mixture (such as spices), one still makes this bracha.
The Chayei Adam points out that the appropriate text of the bracha is asher nosan reich tov, in past tense, and not hanosein reiach tov.
The Chayei Adam lists a few items which, in his time, were appropriate examples of fruits which have a good smell. Most of these items are unclear to us, but he does mention apples and esrog.
Regarding esrog, the Chayei Adam adds the caveat that one only makes a bracha on its smell when it is not Sukkos. We will see that one only makes the bracha of asher nosan reiach tov bapeiros when, at that moment, the primary function of the fruit is for smell. If its primary function is for something else, such as to eat or for a mitzvah, one does not make a bracha. However, this halacha is a machlokes among the poskim, so one should avoid smelling their esrog on Sukkos in order to avoid the issue.
- The bracha of asher nosan reiach tov bapeiros only applies to an edible fruit, even if it is only edible within a mixture.
- The correct text of the bracha is asher nosan reiach tov bapeiros, in past tense.
- The bracha is only recited on a fruit when, at that moment, the primary function is smell. Therefore, one should avoid smelling their esrog on Sukkos, when its primary function is for a mitzvah.