I was hiking with the students my eco lab through a forest this fall in a cool, drizzly day.
"Ew, it's stinky," said one of the students. "It smells like rot."
"That's the smell of our forested wetlands," I replied. "I rather like the aroma."
Some of the more outdoorsy students concurred with my point of view but we all agreed that it's not an aroma considered pleasant by all.
It occurred to me that what I really like is the associations I have with that aroma. It makes me think of enjoyable days spent hiking around the forested wetlands taking in the scenery, getting out in a natural area, learning new plants and pondering how that ecosystem functions. It is all in the context.