come up smelling like roses, to

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come up smelling like roses, to

To emerge untarnished from a sordid situation. A fuller version of this saying is given by Eric Partridge: “could fall into the shit and come up smelling of roses.” American in origin, it dates from the early twentieth century. It is sometimes shortened to “come up like roses,” as in, “It’s the second spring of George Bush’s ‘Don’t worry, be happy’ presidency, and everything continues to come up roses for the politician who two years ago was a symbol of hopelessness” (Mary McGrory, Boston Globe, 1990).
See also: come, like, smell, up