Foodstuffs you love the smell of, but hate the taste

Waffles for me. In Brussels they are offered often in dedicated shops and from vans, the smell is nice, but the stuff itself is just too sweet. Even covered with dark shocolate.

I’d say coffee but I don’t actually hate the taste. It just smells better than it actually is.

I can’t come up with a thing; to me, smell and taste go hand in hand. (hope this isn’t considered a thread poop)

Disclaimer: I’ve never tried roasted chestnuts.


Caramelised onions. The smell makes my mouth water. The taste - greasy wet onion.

I’ve tried to like wine, but every wine tastes the same to me and they all taste like vinegar. The only wine I’ve ever managed to get past a few sips of was ice wine. Even to me, ice wine was clearly the kool-aid of the wine world.

Bloody Marys smell great and look appetizing. Can’t stand the taste and yet over the years I have tried at least 20 from different places to be sure.

It’s a shame.

To those of you loving the smell of coffee but hating the taste (and I respect that reaction), consider trying some cold-brewed coffee. Lacking the bitterness and burnt flavor of hot-brewed coffee, cold brew does taste much more like the smell one gets during the hot brew process.

As much as I dislike most Starbucks products, they DO make a pretty damn decent cold brew, if you care to try it. Microwave it to desired temperature, add whatever you feel like, and sip and see. It might change your mind. Or not.

As for the OP, I love the aroma of hot celeriac root soup, but really find the flavor kinda gross.

I’ve tried cold brew as well. It still doesn’t do it for me. Then I get people suggesting that I add a lot more cream/sugar or cocoa powder or all kinds of other things. At a certain point, it seems like more work than it’s worth. I would love to be able to stop at a gas station in the morning and grab a cup of black coffee, but it’s just not going to happen for me.

One thing I also learned is that I think I’m slightly allergic to it. Whenever I’d take a few sips, it would make my throat itch. For whatever reason, I didn’t link it to the oral allergy syndrome I have with a bunch of other foods. But one day I drank a Bai, which is made from the juice squeezed out of the coffee berries and I got that same itchy throat.
When that happened I figured that I probably have a very mild allergy that, while not life threatening, isn’t worth dealing with in an attempt to get myself to like something I don’t like.

I second this. The smell of curing tobacco is wonderful — earthy, sweet. The smell of burning tobacco — not so much.

I’m a smoker, so maybe don’t count my vote, but there’s a lot of non-smokers (and smokers) that kinda like the smell of cigarette smoke.
Now, they’re not talking about stale smoke in your clothes from being out the night before. They’re not talking about walking into a smokey bar. What they’re talking about is when someone first lights a cigarette (usually in another room) and you get a few whiffs of it as the fresh smoke drifts into the room. It’s just a fleeting smell and then it just smells like smoke.
Similarly, skunk. A lot of people like, or at least don’t mind, the smell of skunk when it’s off in the distance and you get a few whiffs of it as you’re driving. It’s entirely different when it smells like one just got hit by a car and it’s overwhelming your senses and making your eyes burn/water.

I agree with the cigarette smoke thing. I always liked the first whiff of somebody else’s cigarette when first lit.
I started smoking around age 21 (big mistake) and found that cigs don’t smell or taste like I thought they should when I wasn’t a smoker. I quit smoking over ten years ago, and now I can smell a smoker at ten feet. I hate the thought that I used to reek like that.

Same thing with coffee and beer- they just doesn’t taste like they smell. I do like them- I supposed it’s an acquired taste. Someone on this board once said that acquired tastes are Stockholm syndrome for the taste buds, but coffee and beer have the physical rewards of alcohol and caffeine going for them!

One summer during college I was a clerk at a newsstand that sold lots of tobacco products. The smell of freshly printed newspapers and tobacco was delicious. Decades later, I happened to step into a similar shop, and it brought it back like it was yesterday.

Since I brought it up, I’d suggest a good Moscato d’Asti. It’s a desert wine, with no secondary fermentation, and a low percentage of alcohol. As such, to be honest, it tastes like a less sweet grape juice. I won’t go so far as to say I love it, but if I’m at an occasion where you’re bringing a bottle of wine (like some family gatherings with my wife), I bring a bottle so I have something to share in toasts with.

Edit - not that you have to have an alcohol to toast with, but I find it’s a great work around for people who want you to have a good time especially around New Years or the like, and if I dislike wine, I loathe the dry champagnes my friends like at that time of year.

Scented pipe tobacco.

When I was a kid, my father and a few other relatives smoked a pipe. I recall how wonderful the stuff smelled both pre-lit, and the second hand smoke. Cherry/maple/rum and/or combos. Heavenly.

I asked my father for a try once, I let me and I took in a mouthful of smoke. Alas, there was none of the delicious taste that the aroma foretold; just hot acrid smoke that burnt my mouth.

Definitely liver for me too. I used to go up on weekends to hang out/work on a friend’s ranch and most of the meals were some of the best I’ve ever had. One morning she made liver and onions for breakfast and the smell was divine. Took one bite and never been more surprised at the difference between smell and taste. Never touched it again.


I’m shocked my the number of people who dislike chestnuts. I adore chestnuts. Yes, it’s a mild, sweet flavor. But it’s so rich and… silky. Earthy but fresh. So much better than potatoes. I don’t hate potatoes, but I’ve never understood the live for them.

I saw the thread title and thought “this will be about coffee”. I like coffee, but yeah, coffee smells better than it tastes. Good coffee tastes almost as good as it smells. Bad coffee can be rescued with milk. I think the milk protein binds the bitter component, although i prefer half & half because butterfat tastes great and goes well with coffee.

I’ll agree with the tobacco folks, too. I’ve never liked the smell of any cigarette, but pipe tobacco smells nice. Too bad people ruin it by burning the stuff.

In a “best of both worlds” kind of way, they have (at least locally) Black & Mild cigars made with pipe tobacco, and one of the varieties is wine-scented.

My neighbor has a guava tree and they smell delicious but the taste was a disappointment.

How funny! I agree with all of your statements.

I hate stale cigarette smoke with a passion, but when someone first lights up it’s totally different. And you’re right it’s only a couple of seconds then I hate it again.

I thought I was the only one that doesn’t mind skunk! Now when my dog is drenched in it, it’s horrible. It doesn’t even smell like a skunk. But after I’ve cleaned up the dog the slight aroma that’s left isn’t too bad. Luckily for me, because he’s been sprayed about 20 times.

Coffee. Near where I live is a small company that produces coffee, the smell, when you drive past, is really nice, but whenever I’ve tasted coffee I’ve never liked it.