Smells of Autumn

 Many people claim autumn as their favorite season of the year.  Crisp cold nights follow delicious warm days.  Leaves turn trees into a cavalcade of red, yellow, orange, gold, and brown before they tumble merrily to the ground. The smells of autumn excite the senses and put their unique stamp on that time of year.


The cooler temperatures of autumn send cooks scurrying to the kitchen to create heavenly goodies.  Baked goods, turkeys, hams and other delicious things scent the air to stimulate appetites.  Cookies, cakes, hot apple pies and other sweets add their tempting aromas.

Many use ingredients not used as much the rest of the year such as molasses and ginger. The delectable odors of gingerbread, ginger cookies, or hot apple cider pungent with cinnamon sticks add their own ambience.

Fried donuts, wieners and marshmallows roasted in fall fires, potatoes buried in hot embers of a fire and emerging black and smoky smelling; all add to the unique smell of autumn.

Wood smoke

Cool evenings beg people to stoke their woodstoves and set logs afire in their fireplaces. A fire warms chilly bones and is relaxing to watch and to sit near.  Even the family dog curls up behind the wood stove. It is one of the unmistakable smells of autumn and lingers through winter.

Burning Leaves

In spite of laws to the contrary, people still rake and burn huge piles of leaves.  At first, it is a pleasant odor but later the smoke becomes acrid and lingers in the air, making it hard to breathe.  The only relief comes with a crisp fall wind that disperses the bitterness, or a fall rain that puts it out completely. 


Farmers and gardeners harvest many crops in the fall.  Enticing aromas escape from newly picked vegetables and fruits.  New mown hay leaves an intoxicating scent for your sniffing pleasure.


Fall flowers abound and add their sweetness to the mix. Mums, marigolds, asters, even allergens such as ragweed waft their scents towards the heavens as an offering to God.

Evergreen wreaths, pinecones, and other decorative items add their wondrous smells.

Getting ready for winter.

Preparing for winter also brings an assortment of smells, both good and bad.  Mothballs keep pests from gnawing on your winter clothes but the pungent smell assails the nostrils until the items hang in air for several days.

The fall holiday decorations, whether for Thanksgiving, Halloween, or other celebrations, smell musty and dusty when first pulled out, as does anything retrieved from closed in places.


Many people love fall with its seasonal holidays and celebrations.  They love the spectacle of nature parading before them with changing and falling leaves, the autumn harvest, and the contrast of warm days and cool nights.  The smells of fall evoke memories of childhood and previous autumns and forever belong to this lovely season and would not be the same without them.