A person has to have lived in the Great State of AZ to fully understand what I am about to say…
I propound that there is a scent unique to Arizona. I have been a lot of places in my day (I like to consider myself a traveler), and I have never smelled anything quite like it. In Southern AZ (that is, neither in the mountains nor the Grand Canyon), the smell is most easily described as dirt-y. I am not talking about filth and squalor–I mean genuine, true, kicking-around-in-the-Sonoran-desert earth.
Now, I know that South-Western Arizona doesn’t lay claim to the only desert in the world, but trust me: it’s the only one that smells like this! Our dirt, combined with the scent of Palo Verde trees and cactus fumes, is the only thing that really smells like home to me. I especially feel at peace when it rains–summer rain is the most fragrant (and warm). Some people may get sad or depressed when the sky is cloudy, but I, being the desert rat that I am, take rainy-day schedule as an opportunity to be thankful for the reprieve–no matter how short-lived–from the scorching sun and sweat.
So, can you tell? It’s July, and that means monsoon season here in the Valley of the Sun! My second favourite time of year here! (Coming in at number one is Glorious Autumn, but that will have to wait a few more months…)