Havdalah Spices

Q: What types of spices (Havdalah) should be used for Havdalah?

A: Smelling sweet spices after Shabbat concludes serves to strengthen our souls that feel diminished after Shabbat goes away.

The gold standard is to use crushed cloves for Havdalah because different good smelling items require different blessings. If the scent comes from that which grows from a tree, the blessing is Borei Atzei Besamim (The Creator of the branches of a tree). If it is from a fruit, then the blessing is Hanotain Rayach Tov Baperot (He who imputes fine fragrance into fruit). Our custom is to recite Borei Minei Besmaim (Who creates types of scents) – and crushed cloves are appropriate for that Beracha. If one does not have cloves, one may use other good and sweet-smelling spices, such as myrtle branches, musk, or cinnamon.