It’s amazing how many emotions smell invokes. And it’s amazing how each place you visit has a different smell. I’m in Taos right now, at a lovely luxury resort and spa called El Monte Sagrado. Although you’re only minutes from downtown, you feel like you’re in your own hideaway at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. In large part, the aromas help create that feel of luxury at El Monte Sagrado.

Our room at El Monte Sagrado

Room at El Monte Sagrado Photo credit: Bart Hanlon

Beyond the breathtaking natural beautify of the area, the incredible food and the luxury of the rooms and casitas, the thing that lured me the most is the smell. Outside, the fall air is crisp and clear, the breeze laden with the aroma of pines and a deep earthy fragrance you find only in the mountains in the fall, just before the first snow.

The grounds of El Monte Sagrado in Taos

The grounds of El Monte Sagrado in Taos. Photo credit: Bart Hanlon

Inside, the resort is filled with amazing fragrances. The main building, which houses the restaurants, a conference center, a gallery and library, greets you with the mouth-watering smells from Chef Ruben Tanuz’s kitchens. As you wander into the spa, past those aromatic pines, you’re filled with the smells of herbs and candles and oils, many using ingredients indigenous to the area. Just walking in the door made me relax. I can’t wait to go back for my spa treatment.

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