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Phatt Tire Luva'
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, I totally get this might be a crazy question... But, I’ve been riding these trails going on 15 years now. And every time I’m up there I am reminded to once and for all figure out that scent you smell in the forests of Mt Hood. I’ve always found it most powerful on the 8-mile loop specifically - but you can smell it over on lookout ridge too. For a long time I convinced myself that it was wild eucalyptus I was smelling. If someone could give actual known response it would be most greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
 

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Well it wouldn't be wild eucalyptus. Eucalyptus is an exotic import from Australia and can't tolerate subfreezing temps. Not much help.

Try to identify what's blooming there during your visits.
 

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Alder? I can't remember if there are any alder trees up there, but if there are enough of them around, when the leaves accumulate on the ground in the warmer months, they have a very fragrant smell similar to green tea.
 

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Rhododendrons and azaleas grow pretty thick around the Mt. Hood area at some elevations. Some varieties are known for being fragrant. They don't smell much like eucalyptus, though, which is similar to menthol.

Labrador tea is a possibility. I know it grows in Washington around Rainier and Olympic NPs. I wouldn't be surprised if it grew in some of the moister, boggy habitats around Mt. Hood.
 

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Phatt Tire Luva'
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So after spending some time yesterday at the essential oil collection with my daughter in New Seasons - I'd say it almost seems to be a cross of sage and juniper... But not quite either.

ADDENDUM: So, I'm thinking there is a really good chance that the scent is coming from Western Juniper!

Juniperus occidentalis, known as the western juniper, is a shrub or tree native to the western United States, growing in mountains at altitudes of 800-3,000 metres and rarely down to 100 metres.
 

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So after spending some time yesterday at the essential oil collection with my daughter in New Seasons - I'd say it almost seems to be a cross of sage and juniper... But not quite either.
Seems like all coniferous evergreens have a variant on the "pine" smell. Maybe a combination of the various ones in the area? Probably some sage, too, and the other higher altitude trees.
 

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Phatt Tire Luva'
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'll likely be out there within the next 2 weeks, as my wife just got a brand new bike - and 8 mile is her absolute favorite place to ride... and there is one very specific place on that loop where the scent has always been most pronounced. So, I'm planing to stop and grab some pictures of trees/shrubs in the area. The problem is - that section is in the middle of the ripping downhill stuff!
 
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