I am trying to find out about scents that are disctinctive and descriptive of certain regions in the USA, specifically:
Painted Desert, CA / NA
Smokey Mountains, or the Blue Ridge Mountains, NC / VA
Gulf Coast (Texas - Florida)
Sierra Nevada, CA
Thousand Lakes, MN
Grand Teton, WY
Also, any other destination that might have a distinctive aroma from its native plants and flowers. Or, if anyone has any stories that evoke an aroma from a trip, that would be very interesting, too. Any suggestions would be gratefully received. Many thanks
Well, I'll reply to the Sierra Nevadas part.
Generally, the most distinctive thing about being in a redwood forest is how clean it smells. Most cities smell of pollution, ozone gases and such, but in the forest you can actually smell the flowers, the fog that rolls through with the salt smell of the ocean--and mostly the evergreen smell that you get when you crush pine leaves together. In the morning, the wet moss smell and fog are the dominant smells, but in the afternoon and evening, the smell of the pines, the clover, the various small flowers and even the smell of bay leaves (since there are many of bay trees as well in the area) tend to dominate.
They say that in the forest the woodland creatures can sense smells from miles away. They know if someone's starting a campfire, or if someone is approaching by the smell, not the sound. They can sense if a coyote is chasing a rabbit or if a bear is disturbed simply by the phermones given off by the animal.
When the snow comes, there is a stillness that is impossible to fathom. You can look out on the forest and believe that there is nobody else on earth at that moment--just you and those with you--and the blast of cold air on your face usually brings a sense of wakefullness--a feeling that your life has started anew--and that you are up to the challenge of building civilization all by yourself. The breaths come out visible--and the pine scent is at its absolute peak.
The smell that strikes me about the Gulf Coast (Florida) is always the salty, humid air of the water. It smells exactly the same, that ocean water, no matter where in the world you go. The first thing I thought stepping out of the airport in Auckland was, "Mmm, Florida..."
The Adirondacks remind me of the leafy forest smell. Trees and dirt and fresh smells. Kind of like what Calcruzer said about the Redwood forest: clean smelling. You can go out and just smell the clean, dewy grass and leaves on the trees.