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The Fascinating Scent of Snow: What Does It Smell Like?

A Guide to Scents and Best Practices

Another winter rolls around, and your favorite celebrity is spotted in Aspen. The excellent snow conditions attract all walks of life to popular mountain towns in the winter.

And if your invite (like ours) got lost in the mail for that A-list Colorado snow outing, rest assured that you can experience the ambiance and fascinating scent of snow right at home.

This is because the snow has a smell.

Here’s everything you need to know about the smell of snow:


Here’s 5 reasons why a candle gift set makes the perfect gift:

What does snow smell like?

Some people describe the smell of snow as crisp or earthy, while others say that snow has a slightly sweet or floral scent.

Snow is simply frozen water, which should be odorless. But the odor molecules in the air attach to the snow, which influences what the snow in any given location smells like.

In other words, the scent of snow will vary depending on where you are and the conditions in which it falls because of how snow traps smell from the surrounding air. We’ll explain.

How does the snow get its scent?

As snow falls from the sky, it collects scents from the air around it. This can include the fresh scent of pine trees if you’re in Aspen. Or even the faint smell of car exhaust or other pollutants if you’re in New York City. 🤭

As the snowflakes fall through the air, they come into contact with the air’s odor molecules and absorb them.

These absorbed molecules, which can include the scents of plants, soil, and other environmental substances, become trapped within the structure of the snowflakes and contribute to their overall scent.


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Why does the air smell so crisp after it snows?

Snow acts as a natural air purifier, removing impurities and pollutants from the air as it falls. So, when you step outside after a fresh snowfall, you’ll often notice a refreshing, clean scent in the air.

The air around freshly fallen snow has a crisp, clean smell that can be invigorating—even immediately after a snowfall in a bustling city. The snow traps environmental aromas, making the air smell crisp on snowy winter days.

Is the smell of snow different around the world?

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The scent of snow is stronger and more noticeable in certain regions and climates due to the specific scents in the air when the snow falls.

For example, snow in a location with abundant pine trees may have a stronger pine aroma, while snow in an area with more polluted air may have a stronger presence of car exhaust or other pollutants. Sorry, NYC.

“Snow’s smell reflects the impurities in the air,” shared clinical neuroscience professor Johan Lundstrom. “The [snow] flakes in Wisconsin smell different from snow in Sweden, and from snow in a city,” added Lundstrom.

The scent of snow may also be influenced by the local soil and other environmental factors.

Overall, the strength and perception of the scent of snow can vary depending on the location and the specific conditions in which it falls.

smell of snow


Snow in the Nordics

The Nordic region, which includes countries like Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark, is home to a variety of pine forests, and the snow can carry the scent of these trees as it falls.

In addition, the region’s cold, dry climate can help to intensify the smell of pine, making it even more prominent in its air—and its snow.

The Nordic region is known for its cold, snowy winters and is also famous for its snow being an integral part of its culture and way of life.

Snow is life

In the Nordic region, snow is used for a variety of purposes, including skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports. It is also used for transportation. Many people in the region use snowmobiles, also known as the “scooter of the North,” to travel over their snow-covered terrain.

Many Nordic traditions and festivals revolve around the winter season and the presence of snow. The region’s folklore is also filled with stories and legends about snow and winter.

So while the smell of snow is intriguing no matter where you go, snow’s very essence and presence can influence a way of life. And it makes the concept of snow all the more fascinating!

The benefits of smelling snow

The scent of snow is subjective and personal—and can be associated with feelings of relaxation and well-being. Think of it as aromatherapy. It may be enjoyable for some people to experience this aroma, and it may even stimulate positive memories in others.

Additionally, snow’s crisp, clean scent is often associated with the natural outdoors and can be invigorating and refreshing. This may have psychological benefits, such as helping reduce stress and improve mood.

The smell of snow is a result of our immediate environment. So if you’re based in a dense city with more significant air pollution, a scented candle help stimulate the crisp snow smell of a faraway winter forest.


scented candle that smells like snow

The candle that smells like snow

Spoken Flames candle gift sets

6. Candles can help increase focus in a work from home environment

The rise in WFH and remote work means our workspaces are full of comforts—and distractions. But why would anyone light a candle at their work desk? To keep those distractions at bay. From chatty co-workers (albeit via Slack) to social media, candles are a thoughtful corporate gift that can help us focus and create space for us to do our best work.

Consider it a productivity hack. 💡

The presence of a candle flame can set a calming mood. Wooden wick candles in particular have a unique soft-crackling sound, which can serve as natural and relaxing ambient sound in one’s space. Plus, select scent profiles, like citrus, woody or a floral scent of a scented candle can influence physiological responses that help keep the mind on track.

7. Candles can be an environmentally responsible gift choice

First, it‘s a candle, next it’s their favorite whiskey glass. 🥃

Depending on the candle’s vessel, most candle jars can be upcycled after the burn cycle of the candle. It can be used as storage, glassware and more, so you can feel good knowing that your gift will keep on giving! And your candle gift (once upcycled) can be a pleasant reminder, if not a conversation piece in their home, of your thoughtfulness.

A candle gift set solves my gifting needs—but wait! I don’t know what candle scent they may like 😟

Bonus tip: How to pick a candle scent for a gift

So a candle gift set meets your needs, but you’re not sure what scents they like 😟 Pro tip: consider an unscented candle or a gift set that offers a variety of scents.

The unique thing about Spoken Flames’ Trio Sets is that each candle gift set has a variety of scents with great range—from woody, citrus and floral in our F, Yes Collection, for example.

Your gift recipient would never get bored, and it increases your chances for satisfaction with a broad range of scents in their hands.

Because Spoken Flames candles are message-driven, our motivating candle statements (even without scent) mean that you’ll still win big with this meaningful gifting choice!

While you could fly to the Nordics or trek to a mountain town with consistently excellent snow conditions and an average of 300 inches of snowfall each year, you could also bring the fresh smell of snow to you through a scented candle that smells like snow.

Spoken Flames carefully curated a winter candle scent that incorporates clean essential and fragrance oils that resemble Nordic cedarwood, bright lemon, and winter forest.

Named the best holiday candle by People Magazine, the Winter Full of Wonder candle is reminiscent of the crisp air that snowfall brings and perfect snow conditions. No flights (or snow gear) required.

RELATED: Enjoy a faraway snow forest escape with this candle

The Smell of Snow: A Summary

Regardless of its specific aroma, one thing is sure: the smell of snow is a distinctive and unique part of the winter season.

It’s a reminder of the crisp, fresh air it leaves behind and the beauty and function of Mother Nature. Snow literally cleans the air!

So next time you’re outside on a snowy day, take a moment to stop and smell the snow. What scent might you discover?

Can’t make it to Aspen or the Nordics? Then enjoy a generously scented candle that captures the smell of snow, nature, and the crisp outdoor air.

Best Scented Candles That Smell Like Snow

Winter Full of Wonder Candle
Winter Full of Wonder Candle
Winter Full of Wonder Candle
Winter Full of Wonder Candle
Winter Full of Wonder Candle
Winter Full of Wonder Candle

Nordic cedar, bright lemon, Siberian Fir

Learn more →
Winter Candle Bundle
Winter Candle Bundle

A seasonal variety

Learn more →