In a well-known saying, our Sages taught that “Whoever enjoys anything in this World without reciting a blessing commits sacrilege” (Berachot 35a) and his punishment is severe.
Many people eat and drink without a blessing; some of them due to ignorance about reciting blessings altogether; others due to their ignorance of the formulation of the blessings, and still others due to laziness. It is painful to see this sorry state when attending a joyous event where the house is full of people, and they honor their guests with all kinds of sweets and drinks — so many people put the sweets and drinks into their mouths without a blessing, as if the mitzvah to recite blessings was only given to sages and saints. In this situation, one who fears God should recite his blessings out loud so that everyone will hear and know that they need to make their own blessings.
It should be clear to everyone that there is nothing in the world from which one may take pleasure without reciting a blessing: If it grows on a tree, its blessing is “…Who creates the fruit of the tree”; if it grows from the ground, its blessing is “…Who creates the fruit of the ground”; and if it is neither from a tree nor the ground, its blessing is, “…that everything (shehakol) came into existence by His word.” If one does not know the nature of the food and he has no one to ask, then the blessing of shehakol will suffice.
On a pleasant fragrance one also needs to make the appropriate blessing: If it is from something that grows on a tree, its blessing is “…Who creates trees of fragrance”; if it grows from the ground and its roots change every year, its blessing is “…Who creates herbs of fragrance”; and if it is neither from a tree nor the ground, its blessing is “…Who creates many kinds of fragrance.”