1. Program
    Offline

    Program Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2012
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Writing a Program

    The Smell of Winter Air

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Program, Mar 31, 2013.

    I would like to compare the smell of air in the spring with the smell of air in the winter. Unfortunately, it's spring now for me and I can only experience what the spring air is like. I know there's this kind of distinct "scent" in the winter that I can't completely describe. That scent occurs when it is very cold and you've just left the warmth of your house. I never thought winter air would be very important, so I never wrote anything down. Could anyone help me?

    Thanks.
     
  2. GreasyLocks
    Offline

    GreasyLocks Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2013
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Bedford, UK
    it's still winter in England, no spring for us this year!
    I know what you mean, spring has a warm floral smell
    winter feels thinner and fresher in the nose, kind of a menthol effect, but I'm not sure how to describe its smell... pine fresh?
     
  3. Nee
    Offline

    Nee Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2013
    Messages:
    713
    Likes Received:
    23
    It's a typical early spring in Cali: two days of nice warmish weather then fog, then then almost hot, then a bit chilly and drizzly. Like today. Tomorrow will be bright and awesome I bet.


    ....then three days of fog. :|
     
  4. SwampDog
    Offline

    SwampDog Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2013
    Messages:
    409
    Likes Received:
    108
    Location:
    Back in Blighty
    .
    Winter, but wet, dry, cold, mild?

    Try sharp, smell of approaching rain (dampness), rotten vegetation in the fields, ploughed earth, wood smoke, bonfires.

    A good question.
     
  5. Mckk
    Offline

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    4,749
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    like the thin chill of winter air, perhaps? The smell of melting ice, the smell of thaw, of rain lingering in the air, like the smell of snow blown down from the mountains...

    Go and stick your head in your fridge, or a supermarket freezer - there's a distinct smell and it can be similar lol.
     
  6. GreasyLocks
    Offline

    GreasyLocks Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2013
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Bedford, UK
    I think it's the smell of damp, of stagnant water, whether it's from rain, snow, ice or dew, but the cold gives it a fresh taste overall

    the best smell ever is that warm/spicy summer rain smell, when you can feel it radiating from the tarmac and concrete, love it.
     
  7. Nee
    Offline

    Nee Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2013
    Messages:
    713
    Likes Received:
    23
    Kinda ozone-ishy.

    ...'course right now I'm mostly smelling wet dog.
     
  8. GreasyLocks
    Offline

    GreasyLocks Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2013
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Bedford, UK
    I believe ozone smells of a certain type of flower, except if you breathed it in you would instantly die a faintly floral scented death.
     
  9. Reed R Gale
    Offline

    Reed R Gale Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2013
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    My Domain
    It depends on what climate you're asking for. Winter is different for different places. xD

    For me, I'd decribe the winter air as crisp and clean and pure. Yet, at the same time, it's numbing and uninviting.
     
  10. TerraIncognita
    Offline

    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

    Joined:
    May 28, 2010
    Messages:
    1,339
    Likes Received:
    40
    Location:
    Texas
    I always think of winter air as being crisp smelling. Very fresh and clean smelling with a bite to it.
     
  11. funkybassmannick
    Offline

    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2011
    Messages:
    836
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I think the best way to describe it is through imagery that hints at the sense, not describing the sense directly. "Crisp, cool air," gets pretty cliché.

    For example, the smell of smoke as people burn wood to heat their houses for winter. Also, evergreens are the dominant plant life in winter.
    Spring has fresh mud, rain, and budding flowers.

    With these examples, you are not describing the quality of the air, but you are developing the setting in a way that touches on the senses. "Fresh Mud" has visual, olfactory, and tactile components to it. Show a character pulling out a stuck boot from the mud with a smack, and you have an enhanced tactile sensation with an auditory sensation. Generally, you want to try to get those four in as many individual images as possible. (I tend to ignore taste, because taste and smell are so related, although falling in the mud and accidentally eating some is hilarious)
     
  12. T.Trian
    Offline

    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2013
    Messages:
    2,246
    Likes Received:
    1,449
    Location:
    Mushroom Land
    I'd have to agree with everything you said. There's winters and then there's winters. Here in Finland, when the temperature dips below -20C/-4F, the air is definitely crisp, very fresh, and when we get close to -30C/-22F, the air starts to bite not only at your face, but lungs too, especially if you've just stepped outside from some place warm and inhale deeply (or have a bad cold).
     
  13. richardclayton53
    Offline

    richardclayton53 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Northampton, UK
    Interesting, i have just written a bit about snow and the smell of it! I'm copying it below, it may help you, it may not! :)

    The boy stepped out of the house, pulling the door shut behind him, lock snicking in the quiet. It was cold out here, damn cold, the winter air biting at his exposed face, turning his cheeks red with it. The smell of snow was sharp in the morning air, heavy and chill, the promise of it hanging in the pregnant clouds drifting by. It seemed the quiet filled the whole world.
     
  14. GreasyLocks
    Offline

    GreasyLocks Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2013
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Bedford, UK
    absolutely gorgeous
     
  15. Pheonix
    Offline

    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Staff Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Messages:
    5,716
    Likes Received:
    401
    Location:
    The Windy City
    The only way I've ever been able to describe the smell of winter is, that if cold had a smell, that would be it.

    Man, smells are hard to describe.
     

Share This Page