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Birkat Ha’re’ah - Honeysuckles, Cinnamon, Shampoo, Deodorant, Soap and Air Freshener

Somebody who smells honeysuckles recites the Beracha of "Baruch Ata Hashem…Boreh Aseh Besamim." Since they grow on a bush, the proper Beracha is "Aseh Besamim" ("fragrant trees").

If one smells cinnamon – as many people do for the Besamim at Habdala – the Beracha depends on which cinnamon is used. Although cinnamon grows on trees, and should thus require the Beracha of "Aseh Besamim," most cinnamon that people have in their homes was ground for seasoning, and not for smelling. Therefore, before smelling such cinnamon one recites "Boreh Mineh Besamim." One recites "Aseh Besamim" over cinnamon only if it was bought specifically for its fragrance.

One does not recite any Beracha at all before smelling a substance that was made for the purpose of cleaning or eliminating odor. This would include shampoo, soap, deodorant and air fresheners. All these products are made for either cleaning or deodorizing, and thus one does not recite any Beracha before smelling them.


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3462 Halachot found