Arts & Culture

What Is the Scent of the South?

Our noses know honeysuckle, magnolia, fried chicken, and…

photo: Adobe

In a recent Talk of the South newsletter, we asked readers,  What is the scent of the South? Here are a few of the many responses:

A scrumptious blend of magnolia, star jasmine, old rose, muscadine, pine, sea spray, and red clay. —Jill S.

I’d like to go all romantic and say it’s honeysuckle or magnolia blossom, but truth is it’s bacon frying. —Tom S.

Gardenia perfume hanging in the sultry summer nights. —Jack C.

Anything delicious simmering on the grill, magnolia, freshly cut grass, sunscreen, and saltwater. —Sarah S.

The smell of a Cypress-Tupelo swamp. These swamps are only found in the South. —Erik M.

Chicken being fried in Crisco in my grandmother’s cast iron skillet. —Rich C.

A hot, August low tide on the Chesapeake Bay…until you brush past the honeysuckle in full bloom. —Tracey M.

The aroma you inhale as you pull up to a genuine hickory-fired barbecue pit. —Rachel C.

A sun-warmed beautifully ripe peach, plucked from my grandfather’s trees. —Charles R.

Pine straw thick on the ground, baked by the summer sun. Smells like childhood and playing outside until dark. —Jenny W.

Magnolias, bug spray, and rain. —Shannon Z.

Pluff mud. —Bobbye W.

Freshly dug peanuts in the fall. —John G.

Freshly-mowed wild onions. — Mitzi C.

Returning to my home state of Louisiana, stepping out of the car, and inhaling the heavy aroma of humidity, vegetation, and soil. Those scents are like a comfort blanket. —Roger B.

A wet dog. —Jim M.

The scent of those Georgia whispering pines. —Melinee F.

Star jasmine wafting in the breeze. —Cynthia M.

Authentic BBQ smoke knows no season. —Jere B.

The scent of the south is humidity. —Trisha G.

A whiff of freshly cut grass. —Jaime C.

Always has been, always will be magnolia. Along with sweet olive, fresh tomatoes, and frying bacon. —Ann B.

For me and my Louisiana relatives, it has to be Steen’s pure cane syrup.  Thick, black, and uniquely tasteful. —Ed F.

Honeysuckle, peaches, and fresh tomatoes. —Leigh B.

The salt water breeze off the ocean. —Lisa R.


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