What does October smell like?

I love October. Did you know that it is the most popular month to get married in, in the state of Arizona? Summer is finally over, and you can wear boots and sweaters and enjoy the excitement of getting ready for Halloween, the least emotionally fraught holiday of the year. So here is an ode to the month October, which I think has some of the nicest smells of the whole year.

1The smell of dirt which is swept into the air along with the dry leaves you rake from the last straggles of grass on the lawn.

2The tangy, squashy scent of fresh pumpkin as you reach in and scrape out its inner strings and seeds in preparation for carving a jack-o-lantern.

3The greasy yet soapy scent of white facepaint, as you slide it over your nose and cheekbones to transform your face into a grinning skull for the Day of the Dead parade through the Mission.

4The buttery and salty smell of popcorn that you munch by the fistful while watching your first scary movie while huddling in sleeping bags with your friends for a Halloween sleepover.

5The crisp smell of morning air that seems to have suddenly turned chilly, and in which your breath puffs in clouds of fog in front of your face as you run to catch the school bus.

6The acrid scent of iodine painted on your shoulder to prep for your annual flu shot, while you squint your eyes and hope it will be over quickly.

7The pungent odor of a stinkbug you squashed accidentally when putting on your shoes on a dark morning.

8The earthy smell of soil tamped down around daffodil and tulip bulbs planted in anticipation of a spring that seems unimaginably far away.

9The cinnamon and clove scent of your mom practicing her pumpkin pie recipe to be ready for Thanksgiving.

And of course…

10The sweet smell of a giant pile of candy, acquired from fond neighbors over the course of an evening while your costume dragged in muddy puddles and your mask became unbearably hot.