Can you smell a season coming?

I woke up this morning here in CT, I had the windows open last night and the wind was blowing something fierce. I stood up and walked over to the window and a very cool breeze came billowing in - mind you the weather has been humid and soupy as of late - and I caught a fleeting whiff of something I have not smelled for nearly a year. Autumn.

I bent over and looked at the large white oak tree swaying in the gusty wind…the leaves turning over, the branches bowing…then another gust…cool, crisp, sweet air came billowing in again. It raced through my olfactory senses like a perfect autumn wind…no hint of summer left in it.

Does this happen to anyone else? Have you ever smelled a season coming? Or have you ever smelled the rain or the snow coming? I can usally pick up when it ti going to snow. Anyone else?

I can definitely smell rain, that one’s not hard. As for seasons, I seem to sense and/or smell spring coming. There’s a palpable softness and scent to the air that is very unique. The smell of autumn seems to be a slightly burning smell, possibly dried-out leaves.

I don’t know exactly how to explain it, but yes, I can feel the change. It’s probably the combination of a lower sun, a change in the breeze, a few Aspen leaves that are starting to turn, more mornings when we have frost. It seems to hit you all at once. Damn, it’s been a short summer and I still have a LOT to do before winter.

I can smell spring before it’s actually here but never noticed smelling any other season.

When I was a kid and it started smelling like spring my dad would always say he could smell the Gulf of Mexico. We lived in Michigan so I don’t know if he was serious or just making a joke because the warm air was starting to come up from the south. I’ve been to the Gulf of Mexico and it didn’t smell like spring to me.

I can smell rain and snow coming–and I was about twenty years old before I realized that there were people in the world who couldn’t.

Autumn is my absolute favorite part of the year, and just like you, I could smell it coming last night. The days are still hot, but last night I didn’t need the A/C, and even the leaves rustling had that subtle autumn is coming whisper that might just be my favorite sound in the world.

Oh hell yeah.

I can smell winter. Not snow in the atmosphere, or chimneys burning or any tangeable thing associated with winter, but I can catch a whiff of the season itself. It’s hard to explain if you have never experienced it I guess.

I usually smell it just before it starts each year. Oddly, I can’t recall actually smelling it during winter; just before.

I can smell both spring and autumn. I love spring because the first breeze fairly lifts me from my feet and spins me around. Usually I smell it a month before it actually comes. Why is that? It smells like life, can’t explain it better than that.

Autumn usually smells sharp and brisk. I like it also, but not as much as spring.

Here in Florida we only have two seasons - tourist season and construction season. So when they smell in the air changes from gasoline exhaust to diesel fumes you know summer’s coming.

I can smell spring, autumn and winter…summer only ocassionally. I’m always surprised by people who are disconnected from nature. When it’s windy I have to go outside and let the breeze fill me up.

Even though it’s still only early August, some of the trees are beginning to blossom and the spring smell is evident in the early morning air. The later sunsets over the past few weeks also give the sense that spring is not too far away.

Same with me. Spring certainly has a distinct smell just before it really hits (I live in northern VT), and autumn, most definitely my favorite time of year, has a very clear scent to me as well. And yes, I caught it up here, too! Winter, while officially Dec. 21, usually comes to me in the form of one of those steel grey November days when the sky spits bits of sleet and snow, the last leaves clatter in the branches, and you better have your fall chores buttoned up! :smiley: I associate a sort of crisp and clean, but pensive smell at this time. Interesting poll question…

As a slight hijack, here in Orlando I can smell the North when the winter is approaching…it tas…err, smells like burning and pine trees and snow (snow has a smell.)

That is, when the smell isnt overwhelmed by the smell of the Jacksonville area pulp factories (which I can smell from nearly 200 miles away!)

To me, Autumn has the most identifiable smell to it. Then spring and winter. I’m afraid the smell of summer has escaped me. Right now, we are having weather that I’ve never seen in the 29 years I’ve lived in Mississippi. We’ve had several days under 90 degrees, which has to be something like 10 degrees under normal. Lots of rain also, which is not good for the cotton. They will have a hard time convincing me to worry about global warming (Iknow…I know…it is over a long period of time). :stuck_out_tongue:

Yes. What a wonderful question. I smell Autumn early on…just a quick whiff that takes me directly into an Autumn day. It’s kind of smoky; kind of mysterious and regardless of what time of day it is…for me it is afternoon in my mind…at that moment.

Spring is different. I sense Spring. I start having this feeling of expectancy. Hard to describe. A sense of possibily. Not a smell to portend Spring for me although the area of the south I live in is fragrant in the Spring. But when it is coming in those last days of winter, I sense it.

And yes, the smell of rain coming. Smells like dirt, rich loamy dirt. Delicious. And I love that overly green, bright look of the day when rain is coming. Not everytime, but when it is there it is a wonder.

Great question. :slight_smile:

Damnit, I thought you were talking about football season. :frowning:

Anyway, in North Dakota you can smell snowstorms coming. (OK, snow isn’t a season) The mercury tends to rise above zero degrees and the air doesn’t act like sanpaper on your lungs when snow is on the way.

Seasons? Eh? I find it hard to detect changes around here (So. Cal.), unless it’s late in the year, hot, dry, and then I know the dreaded Santa Anas are going to start blowing and kicking up more fires.

Everything else is a blur to me.

Welcome to the Straight Dope Smartini - I agree with everything you have said, My wife and I sat out on our back porch this morning sipping our cinnamon coffe and smelling the autumn approaching. I love it. Best part of being a New Englander. :slight_smile: Which may change soon…story for a different time.
Oh and Vivalostwages - I love your screen name. :slight_smile: I must say I have used it in conversation since first seeing it…and other’s like it too :slight_smile:

When the new Sopranos season is approaching, I get a strong whiff of oregano.

I smelled Autumn on Thursday in Chicago. Yum! I do smell all seasons. I think Lake Michigan helps the smells along, especially summer.

I can small autumn, spring, and summer, but I guess winter is just colder autumn, unless you count pine trees. Oh, and woodsmoke. All of them smell great except for summer, which mostly smells hot.