50+ Show Don’t Tell Examples for Olfactory Imagery:

Show Don’t Tell Examples

As a new writer, we almost always fall victim to the situation where we ‘tell’ too much and ‘show’ too less; our writing is too narrative but far less depictive. 

‘Show, don’t tell’ is one of the most common (sometimes, over-emphasized) rules in fiction writing. And yet, it is neglected. 

Check this info-graphic if you’re struggling to understand the difference between showing and telling

Show Don’t Tell Examples

If you’re one of them, bookmark this article that has over 300+ Show Don’t Tell Examples. These sentences are completely at your disposal. You can use them in your writing as they are. (Just put us in attributions, it’ll make us happy).

Before I begin, understand that there are 7 different types of imagery in literature:

300+ Show Don’t Tell Examples
300+ Show Don’t Tell Examples
  • Visual
  • Auditory
  • Olfactory
  • Gustatory
  • Tactile
  • Kinesthetic
  • Organic

This article focuses on Olfactory imagery.

Show Don’t Tell Examples for Olfactory Imagery:

How, as a writer, will you make the reader smell what your character can smell? Which words or imagery can you use to familiarize the reader with the scent in the scene, the place? Olfactory Imagery is used for this purpose. I am going to provide you with a few examples which you can gladly use as they are (I’ll try to be as creative as I can be.)

  1. The smell of burnt coal brought back the memories of him sneaking in her room after midnight, and fear crept up her spine making the hairs on her neck stand.
  2. The honeysuckle fragrant lawn lured the insects and flies; I could hear the crickets calling and singing their eerie song of the night.
  3. The scent of wet soil reached my nostrils and my eyes closed on their own accord
  4. He sprayed the lavender air-freshener to deaden the smell of tobacco.
  5. Her hair smelt of the cigarette she stubbed outside before entering the house.
  6. His room stank of rotten eggs which made Shaina retch, and she covered her mouth with her hand.
  7. The hall reeked of wet paint and anti-termite solution; Kiara walked back to her cabin scrunching her nose.
  8. As she entered the room, Jessica smelled caramel popcorn in the making and watched her sister, with a bandana on her head, work her hands with oil paints.
  9. The tracker dog sniffed the table and recoiled in the stench of bleach and ammonia.
  10.  Violet put on her cherry blossom perfume and walked out of the door.

I am going to provide you with a few adjectives and nouns which can be used for pleasant and unpleasant smells, scents, stenches, fragrances:

Pleasant Nouns for Smells:

  1. Sun-dried tomatoes
  2. Air-dried blankets
  3. Baby powder
  4. Anise
  5. Mint
  6. Cinnamon
  7. Apple Cider
  8. Orange
  9. Sea Breeze
  10. Maple Syrup
  11. Meadows/ Grass/ Flowers- Rose, Lilacs, Jasmine, Lavender, Honeysuckle/ Tuberose/ Hibiscus
  12. Coconut
  13. Chocolate
  14. Bubblegum
  15. Cardamom
  16. Chamomile
  17. Coffee
  18. Candy
  19. Fruity
  20. Forest
  21. Wet soil
  22. Freshly baked bread
  23. Lemon/ Lime
  24. Popcorn
  25. Licorice
  26. Pizza Place
  27. Melted Cheese
  28. Toast
  29. Vanilla/ Butterscotch
  30. Wine

Unpleasant Nouns for Smell:

  1. Burnt Toast
  2. Burnt tire
  3. Acetone
  4. Bad breath
  5. Dog and Dog breath
  6. Sweat
  7. Locker Room
  8. Laundry Room
  9. Storeroom
  10. Rotten Eggs
  11. Fungus/ Moss/ Moulded Bread
  12. Onions and Garlic
  13. Toilet Cleaner
  14. Bleach and Ammonia
  15. Meat- Pork/ Beef/ Chicken (uncooked)
  16. Fish
  17. Sewage/ Pot Holes
  18. Sulfur
  19. Fresh/ Wet Paint
  20. Litter/ Poop of any animal
  21. Cigars/ Cigarette/ Nicotine
  22. Burnt Plastic
  23. Burnt Food
  24. Burnt Rubber
  25. Hospital/ Morgue
  26. Corpse
  27. Unwashed Socks
  28. Unclean Underwear
  29. Seaweed
  30. Greasy Cloth

Unpleasant Adjectives for Smells:

  1. Acidic
  2. Burnt
  3. Ascetic
  4. Acrid
  5. Pungent
  6. Bitter
  7. Sour
  8. Tart
  9. Noxious
  10. Nauseating
  11. Antiseptic
  12. Decaying
  13. Musty
  14. Wax
  15. Sickly
  16. Sterile
  17. Stale
  18. Putrid
  19. Rancid
  20. Rotting/ Rotten
  21. Putrescent
  22. Olid
  23. Fetid
  24. Bland
  25. Caustic
  26. Greasy
  27. Dirty
  28. Soiled
  29. Mouldy
  30. Dank/ Damp

Pleasant Adjectives for Smells:

  1. Fragrant
  2. Balmy
  3. Airy
  4. Breezy
  5. Oceanic
  6. Cool
  7. Lemony
  8. Earthy
  9. Fresh
  10. Sweet
  11. Tangy
  12. Savoury
  13. Rich
  14. Floral
  15. Flowery
  16. Aromatic
  17. Redolent
  18. Musky
  19. Scented
  20. Perfumy
  21. Clean
  22. Clear
  23. Moist
  24. Refreshing
  25. Tantalizing
  26. New
  27. Wooden
  28. Cemented
  29. Gentle
  30. Giddy

Before you leave, check out these 80+ examples on Gustatory imagery to empower your ‘Show don’t tell game.’

2 thoughts on “50+ Show Don’t Tell Examples for Olfactory Imagery:”

  1. Pingback: 300+ Sensory Imagery Examples to Master Creative Writing | OakWords

  2. Pingback: Auditory Imagery: 30+ Show Don’t Tell Examples for | OakWords

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