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Ridgeline
10-16-2009, 15:11
I know the title of this post is going to get some funny responses, but I'll ask anyway...lol....I live in Northeast GA(hence the name NEGAhiker) and i've always noticed a certain smell in the woods here in GA(not the skunks)...it's kind of a sweet smell that almost smells like cinnamon...anyone know what that is...I've always been curious to know.

Skidsteer
10-16-2009, 17:51
One of the most pungent plant smells in N. GA is Galax but it sure doesn't smell anything like cinnamon.

I've never noticed a cinnamon smell.

Sure it isn't coming from your pack?

mudhead
10-16-2009, 18:23
http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/heirloom/msg0409363715834.html

Google "plants that smell like cinnamon."

Sometimes on a warm sunny day the evergreens here in Maine have a very distinct odor. Maybe one of your local plants does the same.

Or you need a different flavor of Dentyne.

mister krabs
10-16-2009, 18:27
One of the most pungent plant smells in N. GA is Galax but it sure doesn't smell anything like cinnamon.

I've never noticed a cinnamon smell.

Sure it isn't coming from your pack?

does galax smell vaguely earthy and rotten?

grayfox
10-16-2009, 18:30
Just wanted to back you up on this. I am not too familiar with N. GA, but I have often noticed what I would describe as a musky-spicy smell in many temperate forests just after the first frost. It is a nice smell and always reminds me that winter is on the way. I have never been able to locate a specific source. Perhaps it is the leaves of frost-bitten plants beginning to decay. The fragrance is one of my favorite things about fall hikes.

Skidsteer
10-16-2009, 18:42
does galax smell vaguely earthy and rotten?

Yes, but it's not particularly vague if you get in a big patch of it.

Reminds me of a gym locker. :D

warraghiyagey
10-16-2009, 18:50
ummmmmm . . . . nevermind. . . .

saimyoji
10-16-2009, 19:04
ummmmmm . . . . nevermind. . . .

you are so predictable....:rolleyes:

Blissful
10-16-2009, 20:17
I've never noticed a cinnamon smell.

Sure it isn't coming from your pack?


That sure ain't what MY pack smells like... ;)

Wish it did.

MintakaCat
10-16-2009, 20:33
I know the title of this post is going to get some funny responses, but I'll ask anyway...lol....I live in Northeast GA(hence the name NEGAhiker) and i've always noticed a certain smell in the woods here in GA(not the skunks)...it's kind of a sweet smell that almost smells like cinnamon...anyone know what that is...I've always been curious to know.

I've noticed it too, more commonly referenced as "Sweet Mountain Air." I have no idea the cause of it, but if I drive up from Atlanta with the windows close and then open the door, it hits me full force.

I always assumed it was rhododendron since there is so much of it up there. But that's just a wild guess.

Dances with Mice
10-16-2009, 20:48
Two strong aromas that took me awhile to figure out their sources were Galax and the American Holly. In spring the holly has a strong sugary sweet aroma that carries a fairly long distance. I kept overlooking the holly tree as a source because its flowers are so small its easy to miss that its in bloom.

The galax has a musky, nearly skunky odor. The strange part is that neither the roots, stems, leaves or flowers of the plant give off any aroma when picked or crushed. But the aroma always hangs over galax colonies especially in summer/fall.

winger
10-16-2009, 20:59
Maybe the smell of Ramps?

Bulldawg
10-16-2009, 21:07
does galax smell vaguely earthy and rotten?


One of the most pungent plant smells in N. GA is Galax but it sure doesn't smell anything like cinnamon.

I've never noticed a cinnamon smell.

Sure it isn't coming from your pack?


Yes, but it's not particularly vague if you get in a big patch of it.

Reminds me of a gym locker. :D




Two strong aromas that took me awhile to figure out their sources were Galax and the American Holly. In spring the holly has a strong sugary sweet aroma that carries a fairly long distance. I kept overlooking the holly tree as a source because its flowers are so small its easy to miss that its in bloom.

The galax has a musky, nearly skunky odor. The strange part is that neither the roots, stems, leaves or flowers of the plant give off any aroma when picked or crushed. But the aroma always hangs over galax colonies especially in summer/fall.

My son says they smell like a foot!!:rolleyes::rolleyes:

Manwich
10-16-2009, 21:53
Up in Vermont near Styles Peak, I could swear I was smelling Cotton Candy for maybe 10 minutes.

Crazy Larry #1
10-16-2009, 22:07
Maybe the smell of Ramps?think about it for a moment? ramps are in the onion family......:rolleyes:

10-16-2009, 22:46
I think just about everything starts smelling like food after awhile...

BR360
10-16-2009, 22:57
Almost certain that the musky, tangy odor you're smelling is from galax, which for some reason, is stronger in autumn, though noticeable year-round (unless it is below freezing---cold air does not carry this odor well).

In autumn, this aroma is mixed in with the decaying leaves, particularly the hickory and oaks, and depending on your perspective, you have "Sweet Mountain Air" or the "Funky Mountain Breakdown!"

Spirit Walker
10-16-2009, 23:07
Cinnamon ferns smell wonderfully sweet. They are pretty common in the Appalachians.

One of my favorite AT memories is one day in Virginia, walking between two hedges that were a mixture of fern, honeysuckle and wild roses. Ambrosia!

Elder
10-16-2009, 23:33
:-? there is also a wild ginger that is pungent in the fall.

:eek: Freezing this weekend on the GA AT.

Trailweaver
10-16-2009, 23:41
Galax is perhaps the worst thing I have smelled other than a skunk, and I really hate to come upon it but it's everywhere in Ga. I've never detected a cinnamon smell, though.

atraildreamer
10-17-2009, 10:51
One of the most pungent plant smells in N. GA is Galax but it sure doesn't smell anything like cinnamon.

I've never noticed a cinnamon smell.

Sure it isn't coming from your pack?

Maybe you squished your tube of "Closeup" tothpaste (cinnamon flavored) in your pack! :eek::banana

Heater
10-17-2009, 10:59
ummmmmm . . . . nevermind. . . .


you are so predictable....:rolleyes:

Agreed. ;)

Tractor
10-17-2009, 11:00
Some berry tree(s) decay with a cinnamon smell at times. I'm thinking wild cherry perhaps?

emerald
10-17-2009, 11:21
Ambrosia!

No thanks, I can do without a snoot full of Ambrosia in late summer.

Should the last sentence mean nothing, Ambrosia is the genus for ragweed. Its pollen is what what makes mid-August until the first frost the least pleasant time of year for some of us including myself. Oddly, this season I was almost unaffected and have no idea why.

Wise Old Owl
10-17-2009, 11:57
Pollen and lack of methane

Bacteria and molds from the breakdown of forest floor material

mudhead
10-17-2009, 12:19
Do you have Sweet Fern in N GA?

sheepdog
10-17-2009, 12:55
Up in Vermont near Styles Peak, I could swear I was smelling Cotton Candy for maybe 10 minutes.
Douglas fir trees smell a lot like cotton candy.

mister krabs
10-17-2009, 13:38
Galax is perhaps the worst thing I have smelled other than a skunk, and I really hate to come upon it but it's everywhere in Ga. I've never detected a cinnamon smell, though.

Wow, I really like it. Not in an enjoy the smell kind of way, but maybe because I so strongly associate it with the woods and being "out there".:sun

Feral Bill
10-17-2009, 14:15
Douglas fir trees smell a lot like cotton candy.

Not out here, and we have millions of them.

On original topic, sassafras? (however its spelled)

Newb
10-20-2009, 09:46
Spice Bush.

Brass Rat
10-20-2009, 10:09
Up in Vermont near Styles Peak, I could swear I was smelling Cotton Candy for maybe 10 minutes.

There is a lot of Balsam at higher elevations in Western NC, particularly in the vicinity of Mt. Mitchell. I've always thought that it smelled exactly like Cotton Candy.

ShelterLeopard
10-20-2009, 10:58
Well, there's a plant in PA that smells like frootloops...

Gray Blazer
10-20-2009, 11:45
Spice Bush.
I did not realize W was one of the original Spice Girls.

Spogatz
10-20-2009, 14:39
Sorry,,,,

I'm a little Gassy....


Didn't mean to stink up the woods....

fozzycole
10-20-2009, 14:57
I know the title of this post is going to get some funny responses, but I'll ask anyway...lol....I live in Northeast GA(hence the name NEGAhiker) and i've always noticed a certain smell in the woods here in GA(not the skunks)...it's kind of a sweet smell that almost smells like cinnamon...anyone know what that is...I've always been curious to know.


I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who has noticed this cinnamon smell. My first section hike I went on was 3 years ago in mid June timeframe and as I was approaching the summit of Blood Mountain I started noticing this sweet smell of cinnamon and it was wonderful. I have no idea what the name of the flower would be, but it reminded me of a pink honey suckle and I think that this was the source of the smell. Anyways it was truely a blessing to be amongst it while I was huffing and puffing up Blood Mountain.:)

kendalmars
06-25-2011, 00:32
I know this is an old post back from 2009 But I would like to reply. Your probably happy to know the cinnamon fragrance you have been smelling is sweet vernal grass anthoxanthum odoratum is a sweet smelling grass with a sweet smelling substance that contains coumarin which is used in some perfumes. This grass plant is from a foreign country across seas but was brought and grown over here. It is also native to north carolina, south carolina and some parts of tennessee and alabama. Here's some information about the grass this grass only spreads by seeds and seems to do better on flat terrain because it's sunny and requires a sunny condition to do it's best. However it does grow in the mountains but only in areas where there's lookout areas where there is direct sunlight that comes threw and it grows in other parts of the mountains were there's sun as well. So the next time your on your hike and you smell the sweet cinnamon smell just look around and near you and find the grass and break a piece off and smell it. Thank you and have a nice day.

Trailweaver
06-25-2011, 00:58
I agree, galax is just about the worst thing I've ever smelled besides a dead skunk. I was hiking for miles smelling this stuff and being nauseated before my hiking partner remembered to tell me what it was. (It was my first AT hike.) Up until then, I had thought the leaves of the plant were pretty. Now I try to avoid it at all costs.

I understand it does have some medicinal value, but I can't remember what. Native Americans first used it, then I think drug companies found out it actually was good, and I think they maybe grow it commercially. . . but I'm not sure on that.

shawnd5th
09-03-2011, 16:40
from Ny to Florida, on acres of pasture and sun beaten yards, we have smelled a cinnamon/lavender-esque smell that i think no one has been able to identify. very happy to single out the plant and smell that has kep;t me awake at night. had to share.

B-Rabbit
09-03-2011, 16:49
Certain types of moss in N Ga smell kind of like a bad Heineken if thats the smell you are talking about? Couldnt tell you the name.

glaux
09-05-2011, 16:41
I know places where cinnamon ferns and galax grow pretty close together, around Amicalola Falls. But you aren't likely to confuse the smell of galax for anything spicy or pleasant.

wjenson
12-29-2011, 09:23
Mhm I actually always get cinnamon with a mix of moss and something more flowery that I can't make up. My wife once decided to order flowers (http://www.serenataflowers.com/Flowers-online) and then my whole living room somehow smelled like the woods did. it was identical. at least I thought it was.^^

mgeiger
12-29-2011, 15:42
I think I know that smell. Its a pleasant one. Brings back memories of playing in the woods all over N GA as a kid. I did a few miles last weekend, starting at Springer. Down towards the first creek, .5 mile past the USFS42 parking area, I even noted the smell to my kids (had not seen this thread yet). Hemlock pines and rhododendron are pretty thick down in there. If I had to guess, it's the hemlock pine.

Papa D
12-29-2011, 21:15
This is what the whole world should smell like (but we've paved it over) - the sweet wonderful smell you are speaking of is the plant matter composting into the earth with the help of water - you will notice that it is much more pronounced after a rain - it's the earth - celebrate it