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1185 – Birchas Hareiach – (Klal 61 Siman 10-11) – Bracha on Smell 15 – Perfumery

 We are continuing in siman 10. The Chayei Adam now discusses the halacha of one who walks into a perfume store. The primary function of the items in the store are as merchandise, not for smell, so we would have thought that one does not make a bracha on them, as we learned yesterday (shiur 1184). However, the Chayei Adam will conclude in the next siman that one does make a bracha, because the store owner’s goal is that customers enjoy the smell in order to be enticed to buy the perfumes. Although the store owner may ultimately be using the perfumes for profit, since he wishes that the customers enjoy the smell, the perfumes are considered as functioning primarily for the purpose of smell. One makes a bracha even if they do not pick up the perfume but the smell wafts toward them when they enter.

Perfumes sitting in storage do not function for smell, but only for business purposes, so one does not make a bracha if they go to the storage area of the store. It appears from the words of the Chayei Adam that no bracha is made even if one were to pick up a perfume for the purpose of smell, since they cannot override the function determined by the store owner. 

In siman 11, the Chayei Adam writes that if one enters a perfumery or optic (a pharmacy of sorts which also made good smelling items), if they have intention to smell the good smells when they walk in, they make a bracha. As we learned above, although the items in the store function for business, the store owner wants the customers to enjoy the smells (albeit as a means to profit, but to enjoy nonetheless), so a bracha is made on the smell, even without picking up any particular item, as we learned above.

If one walks into the store without intent to smell, they do not make a bracha. 


  • One only makes the bracha of smell on an item which primarily functions for smell. 
    • However, one does make a bracha on an item which functions for business purposes, since the owner wants prospective consumers to enjoy the smell.
      • One will make a bracha even if they do not pick up the item but the smell simply reaches them.
    • Items which are sitting in storage in a business, although the owner may eventually wish for them to be sold, are considered functioning only for business purposes, and one does not make a bracha on them.

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