Scratch 'n Sniff Your Favorite Vacation Destinations

What do you remember most about your favorite travels? Is it the souvenir you purchased reading, “I heart NYC,” or is it the whiffs of New York-style pizza that has you reminiscing about the late night adventures you had exploring Brooklyn? Smells are powerful things, evoking memories with a single sniff and painting the picture of a place you have never been. 

Now it’s your turn to relive the scents of your favorite travel destinations. Go ahead, scratch n’ sniff your screen and you’ll be amazed by what you smell:

Moroccan spice stall [Marrakech, Morocco]

Morocco’s Medinas | The scents of Morocco’s medinas mix and mingle, the souk being a labyrinth of stalls offering everything from leather goods to aromatic spices. It’s an assault of the senses as every fragrance vies for your attention in the competitive marketplace. It’s an adventure of scents that will train your nose to pick out the subtlest of smells. 

In the square, the main entrance to Marrakech’s famous souks, throw your map to the wind and let your nose be your guide. Follow it to the area that appeals to your olfactory sense, whether that be the soldered steel of the metal workers area, the dyes from the weavers or the smells of salted animal hides in the leather tanner’s section. Every alley is an opportunity to capture a whiff of perfumed oils or selections of spices.

Sunset with palm trees [Waikiki Beach, Oahu, Hawaii]

Hawaii’s Ocean Breeze | You can almost hear the waves crashing and people laughing along the famous shores of Waikiki Beach. It’s Honolulu’s most popular shore, and for good reason with the refreshing scent of the salty water hanging in the air. The breeze blowing in off the ocean is only made sweeter by the tropical flowers that waft, the fruity aroma of fresh pineapples and the hint of rum discernible in the piña coladas.

French pastries on display a confectionery shop [Paris, France]

Parisian Bakeries | Stop to smell the roses, or in this case, the early morning scents of the boulangeries and their breads. Paris is a city endowed with many admirable traits, but none more so than their gastronomy that grabs ahold of your senses with fervor that is never quite matched anywhere else. 

Walk into a corner store for the baguettes, but stay for the rich aromas of melting chocolate, the light perfumes of flavored macaroons and the comforting incense of freshly brewed espresso. Smell deeply, because soon your stomach will be begging for a bite.

Stowe Community Church in autumn [Stowe, Vermont]

Vermont’s Crisp Fall | Vermont is famous for its fall foliage, but it’s more than the bold colors of crimson, orange, yellow and brown that capture our attention. Autumn in Vermont goes beyond the transition of colors to encompass an entire experience.

The days become shorter and the winds brisk, carrying with it the scents of winter approaching. It’s made complete with the additions of apple cider warming on the stove and filling the home with smells of cinnamon. It's smoky bonfires, the fragrance sticking to our clothes and hair long after the flame has been extinguished. Pumpkin-flavored everything fills the menus, the hints of nutmeg in the recipe hitting our nose. When you scratch, which smell is it that you sniff?

Orange Grove [Florida]

Florida’s Citrus Groves | The smell of citrus automatically brings with it dreams of warm weather. There’s no perfume as sweet, citrus groves bursting with the aromas of oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes and tangerines. Take a whiff and imagine yourself walking through the groves to pick the freshest of the fruits straight from the source.

Fireworks over skyline [Hong Kong, China]

Chinese Fireworks | Chinese New Year wouldn’t be the same without the fireworks. The fill the sky above the country with colorful scenes and the smell of the smoke from them bursting floats back down to earth. In China it’s a scent associated with celebrations, the history of their use going back to the ancient times of the Han dynasty. The loud noises of the firecrackers were used to scare away evil spirits, thus ensuring the happiness of the Chinese people.

Glass of whisky on bar in pub [Scotland]

Scottish Whiskey | While whiskey’s not for everyone, the true fans and aficionados know there’s no scent more welcoming than opening a bottle of the finest Scottish whiskey. The earliest documentation of scotch traces back to 1494 referring to the libation as the aqua vitae, water of life. 

The alcohol can actually be categorized into seven different scent groups, only the most astute noses being able to separate them all with a single whiff. This includes esters, aldehydes, phenols, sweets, woods, oils and cereals. How many can you discern on your first sniff?

Space Needle and skyline at night [Seattle, Washington]

Seattle Rain | Petrichor: It’s the scent of the earth after rain, and the reason you love a good downpour. Seattle knows this better than nearly any other city, the town famous for its damp and drizzling days. The diverse neighborhoods are covered in droplets as the people go on with their craft beer-loving, coffee-drinking, music-loving and art-appreciating lives. So close your eyes, take a deep breath and imagine the impending storm.

April Fools’! Ignite your senses for real with these Tasty Travels: What to Eat in the Mediterranean


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Alyssa Derby

Passionately curious about the world around her, Alyssa Derby is a self-proclaimed wanderlust aficionado. She’s tallied a count of seven countries visited, with New Zealand, Greece and Bolivia next up on the bucket list. To reminisce about past trips, s