I want to say;

‘Breathing the dewy air of flowers and fresly cut grass scent’


‘Breathing the moist scent of flowers and freshly cut grass’

I think the second one is the correct one because for flowers, using the word scent instead of air, and using the word moist instead of dewy would be more meaningful. But I’m not sure. Can someone help me? Also if there’s a better way to describe it please englighten me. Thank you!

  • In my opinion, the word ‘breathing’ is a little strange here since you don’t really ‘breathe’ a scent, you smell it. Something else is the use of ‘moist’ or dewy’, since you can’t really call a scent ‘wet’ since those are two different senses.
    – Buzzyy
    Commented Mar 15, 2022 at 15:04
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    I never thought about the word breathing.. thank you for that :) Commented Mar 15, 2022 at 15:15
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    And i guess moist part is only valid in my mother language.. Commented Mar 15, 2022 at 15:17
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    One option would be "Breathing the dewy air and smelling the scent of freshly cut grass." "air of flowers" doesn't make much sense to me, just as "breathing a scent" hence the changes.
    – Eli Harold
    Commented Mar 15, 2022 at 15:28
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    Dew is moisture that has left the air and settled on things such as leaves, isn't it? Commented Mar 15, 2022 at 15:39

1 Answer 1


Both sentences you presented read as poetic. 'Breathing the {adjective phrase} air' is a common pattern of expression in English language poetry, as is using 'air' to describe a smell.

In the first sentence, 'freshly cut grass scent' sounds odd, it would be more typical to say ‘Breathing the dewy air of flowers and the scent of freshly cut grass.’

In terms of 'dewy' versus 'moist', 'dewy' is a much rarer word, essentially only used in poetry or other 'artful' language. You wouldn't use it in day-to-day speech. Moist is a more common word. Dewy has a positive connotation of fresh. Moist has a neutral-to-negative connotation of damp or slimy (like moss or mold), though this might vary depending on dialect.

So I guess to summarize:

If you want to sound poetic, use either

Breathing the dewy air of flowers and the scent of freshly cut grass


Breathing the moist scent of flowers and freshly cut grass

and if you want to use a phrase people would use in casual speech, try

Smelling the wet smell of flowers and fresh-cut grass.

  • Additional points: "Breathing the __ air" is common enough, but "air of flowers" is not; "air" isn't usually used on its own to mean "air-born scent." To change the fewest words, replacing it with "scent," "odor," or a similar word would make more sense. (Something more elaborate like "breathing the flower-scented air" is also an option.) Also note, the word "moist" has become somewhat famous within the past decade for studies showing that people have strong negative reactions to it. These studies and their reporting in popular culture perhaps overrepresent this reaction, but... Commented Mar 15, 2022 at 17:14
  • ... but it might be enough to make "moist" a poor choice for a meaning that's specifically about enjoyable, positive sensations. "Dewy," on the other hand, is charged with many positive connotations. Commented Mar 15, 2022 at 17:18
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    Air to mean air-borne scent is definitely a common poetic usage, I'll have to spend some time digging through Shakespeare/Wordsworth to find some examples, but they are numerous. But you are right that it would be unnatural in anything but a poetic or archaic context. Commented Mar 15, 2022 at 17:38
  • Sure, something like "I smell sweet airs" is common enough. I guess my problem was specifically the "air of flowers" phrase; I know of no parallel example to that, in which "air" is paired with "of" to indicate the odor produced by a source. Commented Mar 15, 2022 at 17:49

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