What does snow smell like?

What does snow smell like?

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answers (4)

Answer 1
January, 2021

I think that the snow does not smell. At least, the snow from my windowsill.

It seems to me that the point is that the concentration of various compounds (salts and oxides of nitrogen, salts of chlorides, sulfates, bicarbonate, etc.) in the snow is negligible.

And this is how polluted the environment must be for the snow to smell like something? Unless, it can have a metallic taste near some metallurgical or fertilizer plants.

Answer 2
January, 2021

I was suddenly called to answer from the side of literature. Indeed, the smell of snow is an image that has been widely used by different authors, and it is not surprising: one of the many missions of poetry is an attempt to reflect, grasp sensory sensations that are not obvious, vaguely flickering on the periphery of consciousness, and snow does not belong to those natural phenomena that cause us a steady intention is to smell. But since snow is something that, at least, the author will not surprise a Russian, so many people have thought of the smell of snow, and you can see some patterns.

In most cases, the smell of snow is associated with the smell of berries and fruits (and it is clear why: the motive of freshness enters the associative field of the concept "snow", and it also enters the associative field of all kinds of fruits that cannot lie for a long time). Philologists have already paid attention to the fact that most often the snow smells like watermelon: so in Ivan Bunin ("I feel the cold and fresh smell of a January blizzard, strong like the smell of a cut watermelon" - note that there is also a comparison by the strength of the smell, and not by quality; Bunin, by the way, also the sea smells like watermelon), Alexei N. Tolstoy (“in the light frosty silence, the first snow smells like a cut watermelon”), his wife Natalia Krandievskaya-Tolstoy (“And how does the snow smell, you know? , imagine. - And a watermelon, - I suddenly blurted out "), Alexander Kuprin (" Look how you smell so strong of frost. Like the Astrakhan watermelon cut open "), Ilya Selvinsky (" What does it smell like snow: well, fresh - so; well, cold, so too; cucumber, maybe. I try with my nostrils - no, not that ... And suddenly I find - watermelon ") and, finally, in the well-known poem by Arseny Tarkovsky" What the snow smells like "(but there the matter is not reduced to this: February dense snow and March melting smell differently - respectively, a hospital and gasoline; here it is interesting that freshness is associated with natural, and stagnation and decay - with socio-cultural, this is typical for Tarkovsky). Veronica Tushnova, for a change, “smells of ripe cranberries of snow”. The most famous, however, of the fruity smells of snow - in Osip Mandelstam: "Snow smells like an apple, like old times" (this is a rather complex poem "January 1, 1924", and there both elements of the metaphor - both snow and an apple - are built into multi-link figurative chains). Whether chemists will find some special explanation for the fact that writers remember the watermelon most often - I do not know, but from the philological point of view, it is obvious that the effectiveness of this image is brighter than that of an apple or cranberry one, because obviously this assimilation in one characteristic is accompanied by an implied similarity, contrast in two other signs (snow is white and watermelon is red; snow is northern and watermelon is southern).

When the snow smells of something other than sweet and edible, it means that the accent in the perception of snow, another is suggested. Nikolai Klyuev “smells like a child's body of snow” - there is also a motive of freshness, stronger (especially in the context of a poem) motive of fragilityand (the child will grow up and the snow will melt). For Vera Pavlova, “melting snow smells like a broken nose” - this (compared with all previous examples) is a completely different era, modernity, and with Klyuev there is much more contrast than similarities: the child's body is someone else's, and the broken nose is our own, it is our own corporeality that appears measure of matter. Finally, in the conceptualists Pavel Pepperstein and Sergei Anufriev, the character “felt a strong smell of snow, only this strong smell. This is probably what mouse milk smells like, he thought. “Or maybe it smells like a sheet of steel”, - this is already a mockery: conceptualism rejects the motive of feeling into nature entirely as consisting entirely of self-deception (snow does not smell of anything, and we impose on it the patterns approved by the inertia of perception).

Answer 3
January, 2021

This question can be answered from different points of view. I will try to share my aesthetic vision.

Winter is a favorite season. Snow - the most important attribute of winter - has always made me happy. What could be more pleasant at such a time than watching heavy flakes falling to the ground? .. This feeling of the coming cold weather is inspiring. I believe that the snow smells of frost, the imminent need to warm up, cozy evenings in warmth, it smells of birds that have flown away and a thick layer of ice on the rivers.

And remember: winter is coming.

Answer 4
January, 2021

An interesting question. And not easy. I would say that different snow smells differently at different temperatures. For me, in the cold, it smells of ozone with a slight metallic tint; melting snow smells like dust.
But if you approach your question from the point of view of chemistry, then in the snow there are compounds that can exude a smell. These compounds are nitrogen dioxide, formaldehyde, nitric acid, dimethyl sulfide and sulfate and methanesulfonate. All of them, in different combinations, can give a certain flavor to the snow.

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