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    What Gives Cold Air Its Specific Smell

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    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

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    Part of the reason summer and winter have such different smells is that along with significant shifts in weather come changes in lifestyle – but some of it is strictly science.

    Part of the reason summer and winter have such different smells is that along with significant shifts in weather come changes in lifestyle.

    Some of it, though, is strictly science.

    When temperatures cool, aroma molecules slow down. That results in there simply being less smells floating around than are on a hot, sticky day.

    Combine that with the body’s reaction to cold, and the season’s scents can differ dramatically.

    Just as the molecules can’t move around as quickly and easily as they do in the warmer months, the nose can’t pick up smells as adeptly during the winter as it does in the summer.

    Almost as if they’re trying to get away from the freezing temps, the receptors in the nose burrow a bit deeper.

    While that’s going on, the trigeminal nerve in the face and mouth becomes stimulated as it comes into contact with cold.

    This nerve also responds to strong odors and interprets those as feelings not just smells, for example, like sensing peppermint is cool, not just minty.

    In the end, as there aren’t as many odors floating around the cold winter air, most of the season is enhanced by an increase of indoor aromatics like fires and baking.