We Go Way Back, Snow and Me

As published in The Cliffhanger Nov. 2014
By Jennifer Schleich

I close my eyes and breathe deeply; I smell snow. That magical, wonderful, cold smell that means winter is coming.

There are two scents which I find extremely attractive: the smell of fresh cut grass and the smell of snow. Throw out your cologne – who needs it? I’m literally smiling just thinking about it. It’s already snowed twice. I even saw some sticking to the ground briefly one morning. It might be too early for a blanket of snow but it’s coming. I know it and I can smell it in the air.

I know that look I get sometimes. You know that look right? The leery sideways glance that says this girl is crazy. But I’ll tell you I’m never wrong (at least in this aspect of my life). It’s a strange thing, half scent and half feeling. The scent: cold, but humid, and clean and fresh. The feeling: a shiver. Maybe that part is a brisk north wind. To me the smell of imminent snowfall is completely natural. It’s mind boggling that some have never experienced it.

Johan Lundström is a smell and taste researcher in Philadelphia. He says you can’t smell snow. I say phooey to him. He argues the mucus layer in our smell receptors dries up during the winter, but loosens when humidity rises, such as right before a snow storm…

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