Mar 1, 2023 - News

Following your noses to pick a state smell for Florida

Old postcard reading "greetings from Florida tropical wonderland" with orange blossoms

Photo: Found Image Holdings/Corbis via Getty Images

We put readers' noses to the test last week on what Florida's state smell should be.

The results are in: Orange blossoms were the most popular response.

  • Yes, but: That's already the state flower.

Honorable mentions included fried grouper, Cuban coffee, and a couple of not-so-nice runners-up: red tide and reclaimed water.

What you're saying:

  • "If you ask anyone who has spent any time in Bradenton, the smell would be burning orange peels from Tropicana!" — Taryn Schnarr
  • "Dry, empty, deathlike electrical sizzling before a hurricane rolls in." — Maureen Phillips
  • "Stand under a blooming Jacaranda tree in St. Pete in late Feb/early March. ... It's very similar to the sweet smell of an infant's head." — Ann MacKinnon

Thanks to reader Gary Mormino, who remembered a 2007 piece in the St. Petersburg Times in which Jon Wilson recalls moving from Nebraska and driving across the Gandy bridge for the first time:

  • “Through the wide-open windows of our ’53 Ford, a Tampa Bay breeze carried my first good whiff of Florida. It smelled like fish stew. It smelled like mystery. It smelled like the ocean. It smelled like a dream.”

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