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In nose range?
December 20, 2011 5:35 AM   Subscribe

I want to indicate that something is close enough to smell, but I want to do so in a way that matches these examples: "in sight" for close enough to see, "in reach" for close enough to touch, and "in earshot" for close enough to hear. I keep thinking there must be a simple and obvious way to phrase it, but right now I'm drawing a blank.
posted by amyms to Writing & Language (29 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Well, it isn't elegant, but the colloquial phrase is "in sniffing distance."
posted by DarlingBri at 5:40 AM on December 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


This is literally what "get wind of" means, but it's really only used in its figurative sense.
posted by scruss at 5:40 AM on December 20, 2011


"Upwind" is kind of close.
posted by muddgirl at 5:40 AM on December 20, 2011


"So close, [x] could smell the [y]"

"downwind" is, I think, better than "upwind" at least by analogy to "upstream" and "downstream", but you can be long downwind and still catch the scent of.

"having caught the scent of" could work depending on the sentence.

I've never heard "in sniffing distance" but am totally going to use that now.
posted by gauche at 5:43 AM on December 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


"In scent range."
posted by vers at 5:47 AM on December 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Particularly close range and foul, we say to each other, "Yer making my eyelashes curl."
posted by at the crossroads at 5:52 AM on December 20, 2011


Just "It smells like it's close by"?
posted by Fen at 5:53 AM on December 20, 2011


I would say "within smell-shot" but that's mostly being goofy. Upon further reflection, I would concur that upwind is better, i.e. smell able things are upwind of you.
posted by supercres at 5:53 AM on December 20, 2011


In sight of, in reach of, in earshot of, downwind from, got a taste of.

To my way of thinking, those mean more or less the same thing for each of the five senses.
posted by three blind mice at 5:56 AM on December 20, 2011


Just wanted to clarify that I'm not looking for phrases about proximity of smell in general, I'm hoping to find something that specifically fits the pattern of "in [blank]" like the following phrases for other senses: "in sight" (close enough to see), "in earshot" (close enough to hear), and "in reach" (close enough to touch).

So far, DarlingBri's "in sniffing distance," vers' "in scent range," and supercres' "within smell-shot" are the best examples of what I'm looking for.
posted by amyms at 6:01 AM on December 20, 2011


Surrounded by the aroma

Awash in the pungent aroma of pine needles

He was almost near enough to smell the child, who hadn't been washed in days.
posted by myselfasme at 6:01 AM on December 20, 2011


I came in here to suggest "in smellshot", which I was pretty sure I'd just made up, but someone beat me to it!
posted by pemberkins at 6:04 AM on December 20, 2011


I believe I have heard the phrase "within scenting" or "in scenting range" but I can't vouch for them being in popular use.
posted by TooQuiet at 6:20 AM on December 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


smellclose
posted by univac at 6:34 AM on December 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


People the I know with hunting dogs use "within scenting" or "in scent".
posted by crush-onastick at 6:36 AM on December 20, 2011


I'm hoping to find something that specifically fits the pattern of "in [blank]".

The problem is that smell doesn't work this way. Because odor is carried by the wind, its relationship to distance is uncertain. The direction that the air currents are moving is more important than distance.

In terms of meaning, I think the closest you'll find is "downwind". But that doesn't have the same pattern. Because the thing being described isn't the same.
posted by alms at 6:46 AM on December 20, 2011


To fit the pattern, I maintain that it should be "upwind" rather than downwind.

"The target was in sight. The gun was in reach. The dog was in earshot. The rotting corpse was upwind."
posted by muddgirl at 6:49 AM on December 20, 2011


To fit the pattern, I maintain that it should be "upwind" rather than downwind.

"The target was in sight. The gun was in reach. The dog was in earshot. The rotting corpse was upwind."


Ah. Yes. I interpreted the question to be about the person doing the sensing.

As in, "I was in earshot of the dog (and could therefore hear it), I was downwind of the corpse (and could therefore smell it)" and so on. I suppose it could easily go the other way too.
posted by gauche at 6:55 AM on December 20, 2011


smellable
posted by therubettes at 7:34 AM on December 20, 2011


"within arm's reach"
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:19 AM on December 20, 2011


inhaling range?

"smell-shot" and "scent-range" are, to these British ears, malodorous neologisms.
posted by epo at 9:10 AM on December 20, 2011


Dunno if this helps, but in perfume jargon the strength of a fragrance is commonly referred to as its "throw." So if you can smell something, you could be "within its throw"?
posted by hermitosis at 10:07 AM on December 20, 2011


in whiff
posted by gray17 at 10:49 AM on December 20, 2011


I also like "within scent of."
posted by pemberkins at 10:59 AM on December 20, 2011


Nose shot.
posted by oceanjesse at 12:03 PM on December 20, 2011


I don't think there is a regular term for this, because smellability isn't determined by distance, but rather by the prevailing wind. For example, "that rotting whale carcass was so close I could smell it" is meaningless for giving you an idea of the actual distance, when the smell could carry for miles.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:14 PM on December 20, 2011


In the Air.
posted by fizzix at 12:22 PM on December 20, 2011


A mere waft away from ______?

A dog's nose away?

A whisker twitch?

Many animals have a "spook radius" which is a very fine line between them tolerating your presence and fleeing.

This is going to keep me awake tonight.
posted by futz at 3:16 PM on December 20, 2011


Olfactory range or proximity?
posted by futz at 3:48 PM on December 20, 2011


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