Why do we love the smell of fall? Memories and nostalgia


Dawn Goldworm is the co-founder and Creative Director of 12.29, a company that designs fragrances for clients such as Lady Gaga and brands such as Nike, as well as a Christmas fragrance for the Harrods department store. As a professional “nose” or perfume designer, she said, people often ask her to recreate the scent of babies and puppies.

“We just don’t have the molecules to recreate the scent of new life,” she said.

Because her nose is so trained, Goldworm said she smelled things in different dimensions – she smelled the color of the scent, the shape, the temperature, and the weight.

“So when the seasons change, the first thing that hits my nose is the temperature of the odor molecule which smells fresher, it smells fresher. It’s sharper, especially when you go from summer to fall, ”she said. “Then of course, and it’s a smell that everyone loves and not necessarily talks about that way, I can smell the gas given off by the decaying leaves, when they start to change color and go. fall from trees. ”

But the smell of fall (or any season) in one place means something completely different in another, depending on the trees, soil, air, and natural vegetation, including plants and the flowers, Goldworm said.

“So every place in the world has its own branded fragrance identity, if you will, its own personality,” she said.

Dalton said she grew up near the seashore, where fall smells completely different – more of a swampy, swampy aroma, as the area between the mainland and the island dries up. It doesn’t smell like anything in a forest or a city like Philadelphia, she said.

Fall is her favorite season, said Dalton, because she appreciates the cooler weather and the lack of humidity, but also because of the activities that take place there. The smell hits her as she walks around town, and people first start burning wood fires at home. It brings back all those memories of warmth, coziness and closeness, she said. Like many people, however, she cannot have a fireplace herself due to allergies.


Freeda S. Scott