What should Rosemary and Sage smell like?

PurpleRainbow(z8 NW WA)October 11, 2005

Mine both smell like Vicks VapoRub right now, rosemary more so than the sage. Is this weird? I think so, but maybe they should smell like that this time of year? At least sniffing them seems to help my sinuses! LOL I'm almost afraid to go smell the other herbs now and see if they smell Vicks too. If it is bizarre for them to smell like this do you think they'll go back to normal? I've done nothing to the best of my knowledge to cause any changes.

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Well, if you are sure that they are rosemary and sage... maybe you have allergies or a cold? Rosemary smells piney to me... sage smells sagey, sort of a lighter piney.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2005 at 12:13PM
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LOL, that's a hard one to answer, sage smells like turkey dressing? since it often used in it and rosemary smells like pine. I would bet you have a sinus infection...I have one now it's comon with weather changes and sinus infections can mess up your sense of smell.

While I like it in cooking I think sage smells funny. Rosemary I love. I saw some smeller on TV who said to sniff coffee beans between smelling perfumes maybe that would work :).

    Bookmark   October 11, 2005 at 5:18PM
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PurpleRainbow(z8 NW WA)

Thanks, Heathen and Kris. My sinuses are bothering me so maybe that explains it but my DD thought the sage smells like eucalyptus. I didn't offer her a sniff of the rosemary after I saw the face she made! LOL I guess my question would have been better phrased if I said, should sage and rosemary always smell like sage and rosemary or do they normally smell funny in the fall? Anyhow, they did change smell and it might be me or it might not. I guess I'll wait and see what happens. My pineapple sage still smells like pineapple at least. Just one more of life's little mysteries I guess. Hey, wait a minute, maybe I have a valuable mutant and should get it patented. Nah, not worth the bother.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2005 at 8:24PM
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The Vicks should be a mix of eucalyptus & camphor. They do not smell the same. I do not know about others, but the smell of my sage & rosemary does not change in the fall. Different varieties of salvia smell differently, however, & smell is one way of identifying them. Some are pungent, whereas others are weak, some have a sweet smell, & some have a cucumber smell. I have noticed the soil used can affect the smell and character of the salvia. Certain native salvias such as salvia apiana smell & look different when grown in a soil other than their native soil.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2005 at 5:15AM
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PurpleRainbow(z8 NW WA)

Hmmm, I don't recall I'd added anything to the soil and it was smelling sagey before, the rosemary might have gotten some compost added nearby. I dunno. It will be interesting to see if they revert back to thier normal smells.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2005 at 9:15PM
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pony65(Zone 5)

My rosemary has a definite pine scent to it. To me, my common garden sage has always smelled kind of like... well, to be honest, kind of like I remember pot and hash smelling.

Or turkey stuffing, of course. ;)


    Bookmark   October 18, 2005 at 5:25PM
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Sense of smell is very subject to damage so I suspect it is you rather than the herbs which have changes. when your sinus problems are over, try it again. A loss of sense of smell is very common following colds and/or flu and can persist for a long time or be permanent. I was lucky enough to get mine back but for almost a year, things smelt like chemicals and sweet things smelled and tasted especially bad. It was a minor disaster because I was in England during the strawberries and cream season and couldn't taste them at all.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2005 at 5:38PM
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PurpleRainbow(z8 NW WA)

I'd readily agree that my sinuses are the true culprit except nothing else smells odd. The sage is smelling more like it normally would and so is the rosemary. If I ever figure it out for sure, I'll let you know.
Thanks for the help, everyone.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2005 at 6:56PM
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flatlander1(z5 IL)

My sage smells a little like B.O. to me. Tastes great, but every time I pick it, it smells the same. Must be a very pungent variety. First time I picked it I looked it up in a book to make sure it was sage. It must just be me. (I don't mean the B.O. is me, my nose must be defective :)

    Bookmark   October 24, 2005 at 8:18PM
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i cant remember what my sage smells like, except that it smells like sage, but not a strong scent, tis prple sage.

aw shame oldroser about the strawberries and cream, nothing quite like them.

odd about the smell changing, ould you have spilled anything on them? tha is washing away wit rain etc.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2005 at 9:49PM
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PurpleRainbow(z8 NW WA)

Considering the plants are in my front yard I guess something could have been spilled in the area even if I wasn't the one who did it. Whatever caused the change in fragrance, I may never know. Since I don't really like sage I've not tasted it. If the strong, somewhat odd smell continues I guess I'll have to grow more in another spot and see if it smells the same.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2005 at 11:57PM
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OK if it still smells weird I think something got to it, cat spray? Your nose can't be off for that long. Vicks is Cedarleaf oil, nutmeg oil, special petrolatum, thymol, and turpentine oil-copied from the website? Thymol is a component of lots of herbs, thyme and oregano come to mind, but i'm not sure about sage or rosemary.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2005 at 2:53AM
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I have a sage plant that also smells like Vicks. I found this thread trying to figure out why. I do not have a sinus infection... so I guess I'll keep searching. :)

    Bookmark   August 14, 2007 at 9:06PM
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Many herbs are terpenes, a class of an organic molecule--it is a resin-like smell. Sage smells like a sweaty horse with a undercurrent of ecalyptus. Weirdly enough, I love the repugnant smell of sweaty horses so I also like sage.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2011 at 6:12PM
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In May 2000 I had the chance to visit the Navaho reservation in Arizona, specically Canyon DeChelly..

While we were there a young Navajo man gave us a special tour where others weren't allowed.
He reached down and picked up a hand full of something.
He told us to smell it.. Wow, it was strong. Very potent.Before either me or my husband could say what it smelled like, the young man said you know Vicks while rubbing his chest. We both agreed.

I personally can't tolerate the smell.. So I agree it smells like Vicks... Don't like the smell of pine either...

What lead me here was that there is Rosemary in my Burt's Bees bath oil and wondered what it would smell like by its self...

Have a good day!


    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 11:13PM
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