Sniff, Sniff…It’s Summer in Montana and This Is What it Smells Like
When you live in Montana, not only do you get four seasons (regardless of how long or short they are) but you also get four "scent-sons"--the smells that are particular to each season.
We've talked about the potentially unfortunate way spring in Montana smells, which might merit Montana having its own official aroma. That way, you could spray it around during any of the unfortunate "scent-sons."
The good news: summer in Montana smells pretty good for the most part. If you don't know what you're smelling, it might be one of these:
Fresh Cut Grass and Native grasses
Remember when Gap came out with grass-scented perfume and cologne? It's not bad, but it's nothing like the real thing. And native Montana grasses smell sweeter and stronger than conventional lawns.
This is a fall scent in my opinion, but you'll definitely smell campfire smoke in the summer. This kind of smoke smells different and better than wildfire smoke. More culinary and woody.
To me, wildfire smoke smells like (causes?) anxiety. It's the smell that will wake you up in the middle of the night wondering where the fire is, then hang over everything like an impending apocalypse.
Ever been on a hike and caught a whiff of coconut? That's probably suntan lotion or sunscreen. For the ones that aren't flavored, you'll smell that unique combination of chemicals that end in "zone" and "ide."
Isn't this always the scent that makes you jealous of your neighbors?
They're getting better and better about making bug spray smell better, but if you're going in the deep woods, you're going to smell that spicy, nearly suffocating scent of deet.
Rivers, Creeks, Lakes
They might smell mossy or a bit like the ocean's distant cousin. Unfortunately, Montana's waters aren't pristine, but if you find water high in the mountains, be it a stream or a lake, the water will likely smell fresh.
Whether it's flowers or vegetables, there's a delightful scent that comes from a garden. With the right varieties it could either make you feel energized (mock orange) or relax you (lavender).
Waders and Fish
Rubber and fish guts. Let's just say, it can stink.
Morning Rain After a Lightning Storm
You wouldn't think that rain would smell different in different seasons but there is a different scent in the air when it rains in the morning after an evening of lighting and thunder. Some say you can almost smell ozone.
Doesn't really matter where or how much of the dog is wet. If the dog is wet, you'll smell it, and Missoula loves dogs.
Ah, the scent of construction season. Even if there isn't road work, when the asphalt heats up, you can definitely smell it.
Fried food and Ice Cream
Any festival or fair in Montana will give off waves of sweet cream and greasy breading. You can catch a whiff of these in Missoula on Wednesdays during the summer during the Out to Lunch or Downtown Tonight. It's a fair bet any of the fairs in Montana smell like this too.
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