In reference to taste or smell, pungent is not so much a particular flavor as to say a strong flavor. Some associate it with a high level of volatile acidity. Some (but not all) wine connoisseurs interchange the word pungent with earthy.
Today there’s something else, though: the smell of smoke and something earthier, more pungent.
Lauren Oliver -- Before I Fall
He showed up at the bar nearly every day with a pungent Hardee’s bag, complaining about his budget until he was offered a first drink on the house.
Gillian Flynn -- Gone Girl
It pops loose with a very pungent, very satisfying hiss.
Rick Yancey -- The 5th Wave
A gust of wind came her way, and with it the pungent smell of the seal.
Dave Eggers -- The Circle
Eucalyptus blossom blew into the house, coating everything white, and the wind carried the pungent smell of the rice fields.
Malala Yousafzai -- I Am Malala
And then I could smell it, even more pungent than the house’s other stinks, and I could feel it at the threshold of the room.
Ransom Riggs -- Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
AS SOON as I step inside, the world fills with the roar of jazz, laughter, and chatter along with a blast of heat, the scent of pungent cigar smoke, perfume, and scrumptious food all rolled into an incomprehensible wave of sensation.
Susan Ee -- Angelfall
The sky erupted with color, and the pungent air stimulated sensors in her brain Clarke had never realized existed.
Kass Morgan -- The 100
She neared the foot of the bed, nose wrinkling at the pungent odor wafting from the woman’s bed.
Marissa Meyer -- Cinder
He used flowery language like …. well, like every sentence was a pungent bouquet of metaphors.
Rick Riordan -- The Trials of Apollo
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He positioned his chair so perfectly that his face was mere inches from Reynie’s — so close that Reynie could see his own alarmed and searching face reflected in those shiny silver lenses; so close that he smelled the man’s pungent breath.
Trenton Lee Stewart -- The Mysterious Benedict Society
A sweet yet pungent aroma hung in the air and drifted easily from one anxious nose to the other, stopping only long enough to make several mouths water and a few stomachs growl.
Norton Juster -- The Phantom Tollbooth
A sudden breeze carried a familiar, pungent smell.
Pam Munoz Ryan -- Esperanza Rising
This time the ornaments were nature’s brilliant red-and-yellow necklaces of bittersweet, pungent pinecones, wine-red clusters of sumac berries, abandoned bird-bodied boats of milkweed, delicate thumb-size goblets of Queen Anne’s lace.
Jerry Spinelli -- Maniac Magee
The fragrance of boiling meat and pungent herbs made Matt’s stomach crawl.
Elizabeth George Speare -- The Sign of the Beaver
She had been stripped of her clothes, and something warm and pungent was gently being rubbed into her body.
Madeleine L’Engle -- A Wrinkle in Time
I suddenly see vines and lush plants clumped together, and the air is pungent with the smell of life.
Holly Goldberg Sloan -- Counting by 7s
What she loved best was to rub the leaves of the tomato plant between her fingers and breathe in their pungent, powdery smell.
Jeanne DuPrau -- The City of Ember
He was fascinated by the bazaars, which felt wildly exotic, with the strange, pungent smells of carpet and leather shops.
Joshua Davis -- Spare Parts
The engineer is a taciturn, pungent man named Walter Bernd whose pupils are misaligned.
Anthony Doerr -- All the Light We Cannot See
The residue of the entire trip left a good taste and it proved a pungent stimulant to class activity and awareness for many months.
Pat Conroy -- The Water is Wide
After two years, rich, black, pungent Dutch coffee.
Corrie Ten Boom -- The Hiding Place
A few drops of pungent liquid began to drip from the free end of the hose.
Alexandra Bracken -- The Darkest Minds
They have a pungent, leathery, underneath smell, like old rope, like damp dogs.
Margaret Atwood -- Cat’s Eye
And the pungent scent now wafting up the stairwell strongly intimated that breakfast was to be herring, kippered.
Diana Gabaldon -- Outlander
To my great surprise, Mr. Pavlikovsky pulled me close and caught me in a solid embrace, while I closed my eyes and tried hard to ignore his smell: hair cream, body odor, alcohol, and some sort of sharp, disagreeably pungent cologne.
Donna Tartt -- The Goldfinch
A pungent smell filled his nostrils: marijuana.
James Patterson -- 1st to Die
Inside is a thick, dark ointment with a pungent smell, a combination of tar and pine needles.
Suzanne Collins -- Catching Fire
It was a Sunday in October, the air cool and pungent with dying things.
Suzanne Collins -- The Hunger Games
I smelled tobacco on him and alcohol, sweet and pungent.
Khaled Hosseini -- The Kite Runner
It was a little different, more pungent, and one felt that this was where it originated.
Leo Tolstoy -- War and Peace
And along with the thickening smoke they began to notice another circumstance, a strange, pungent odor.
Upton Sinclair -- The Jungle
This one did not smell like the first one, it was more pungent.
Rudolfo Anaya -- Bless Me, Ultima
He crushed a leaf in his fingers, and it gave out a sweet and pungent fragrance.
J.R.R. Tolkien -- The Fellowship of the Ring
A foul and pungent smell, an earthy mix of rust and excrement, hung in the air.
Yann Martel -- Life of Pi
It was the animal’s fear and power mixed together to form a pungent, lingering musk.
Alice Sebold -- The Lovely Bones
Mrs. Wandati sat in the backseat with them, the air filled with the thick weight of her perfume and something Abdullah didn’t recognize, something sweet, a little pungent.
Khaled Hosseini -- And The Mountains Echoed
He made a careful pile and tried to light it, but the woody stems only smoked and gave off a pungent smell.
Christopher Paolini -- Eragon
They had a smoky, rather bitter smell, as though a wild sap ran in their stalks, pungent and juicy.
Daphne du Maurier -- Rebecca
The sensation was like being touched in the marrow with some pungent and searching acid, it set my very teeth on edge.
Charles Dickens -- Great Expectations
And the touch of that vapour, the inhaling of its pungent wisps, was death to all that breathes.
H.G. Wells -- The War of the Worlds
Turning me around by one arm, he moved a broad flat hand along the front vista, including in its sweep a sunken Italian garden, a half acre of deep, pungent roses, and a snub-nosed motor-boat that bumped the tide offshore.
F. Scott Fitzgerald -- The Great Gatsby
At the same moment down came three or four bottles from the chiffonnier and shot a web of pungency into the air of the room.
H.G. Wells -- The Invisible Man
It was not alone that it was composed of all the ills of mortality and with the pungent, acrid smell of blood, but it seemed as though corruption had become itself corrupt.
Bram Stoker -- Dracula
Even the odors he smelled shifted at times, becoming sharper, more pungent.
Christopher Paolini -- Eldest
She sighed deeply as a rather pungent smell drifted up from the kitchen.
J.K. Rowling -- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
A deep wood grew outside, with summer leaves of alder and black poplar, pungent cypress.
Homer -- The Odyssey
A formidable array of bottles and test-tubes, with the pungent cleanly smell of hydrochloric acid, told me that he had spent his day in the chemical work which was so dear to him.
Arthur Conan Doyle -- The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
His migraine was not helped by the pungent cigar feeding toxins into his system.
Eoin Colfer -- Artemis Fowl
The ladder groaned with every step, and the pungent smell of rotting flesh and dampness was almost asphyxiating.