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バラは甘い香りがする。
バラは香りが甘い。
Roses smell sweet.

Is the second sentence natural? The internet provides disturbingly few uses of 香りが甘い. If it's not natural, why not?

If it is natural, is there any difference in nuance/use between these two sentences?

My question is about the general case where する is used to describe a characteristic of something, and whether it can be transformed to a sentence of the second type, rather than just the specific example above.

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バラは甘い香りがする

As you described in your question, it is more natural than latter one since it is the characteristic of roses.

バラは香りが甘い。

You do not have to specify the smell of roses as a topic in most cases since it is common for everyone know the smell, so it sounds bit unnatural.

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  • So would the second sentence be more natural if I was talking about a specific rose? e.g. このバラは香りが甘い Feb 5 at 8:24
  • @user3856370 Yes このバラは香りが甘い。sounds more natural. このバラはいつもより香りが甘い。 sounds natural to me since it’s more specific if you compare to ones as before. Feb 5 at 8:27
  • That's interesting. Thanks. I guess I'm still a little confused though. In the classic example: 象は鼻が長い、everyone knows that elephants have long noses too, so I wonder why this is natural. Is it simply because there is no する equivalent for making this sentence? Feb 5 at 8:31
  • I am not sure if it is natural to compare roses releasing sweet odor by ones' nose and imagining or seeing elephants with long nose. Feb 5 at 8:41
  • Well in one example I am describing the characteristic of a rose: its smell is sweet. And in the other I am describing the characteristic of an elephant: its nose is long. Perhaps I will ask a separate question about this. Feb 5 at 8:48

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