Writing about smell, touch and taste is harder than writing about seeing and hearing. In order to sharpen our skills, we need to observe, record and practice. Try walking through the grocery store, take a hike in the woods, ride the bus, hold a newborn baby or puppy, bake cookies or plant flowers. Record what you see, feel, smell and what you touch and taste. Write down what color the soil was. Was it brown, black, cinnamon or tan? Did it feel dry, wet, sandy or rocky? Did the baby smell like powder, soap, sweet, milk? Was the bus dirty or clean, did it smell and if so of what, did the different riders on the bus smell, and how did they act and talk differently? Did you swipe your finger into the batter before you added the shaved chocolate? What did it taste like, how did it feel on your fingertips and tongue?
Another exercise to increase our senses is to have a friend assemble a bag of different objects. Blindfolded and using earplugs, take them out one at a time and orally dictate to your friend what they feel like, what they smell like and even taste like. Practicing will develop your senses. A third exercise is to describe different objects without using its color. How would you describe a banana without saying it was yellow? Write down the description of chocolate ice cream without saying it was brown. Learn to expand your descriptive vocabulary.
Many fund-raising events are titled “The Taste of Dallas,” “The Champagnes of Napa,” “The Italian Food Festival” or “Diamonds and Chocolate.” Organizers know these types of names evoke emotions that are pleasurable by associating taste with something good ergo people will want to come. Writers of fiction or nonfiction can do the same with our stories or poems. Bring in the five senses and you will elevate your writing.