Assemblyman Matt Titone, a Staten island Democrat, sent out a press release yesterday announcing he has introduced legislation that would designate pine as the “official scent” of New York.

I believe this is an April Fool’s joke, of which there are a number running around the Capitol today – including City Hall’s annual homage to the Onion (it’s very funny this year, so take a look if you have time).

When I asked Titone if this was his idea of a prank, he responded: “All I have to say to New Yorkers is Happy April 1st.”

I have to admit though, his press release got me thinking – the state already has an official flower, tree, bird, fish, animal, gem, fossil, beverage, fruit, insect, and muffin. Why not an official smell, too?

Each community in New York has its own particular sights, sounds and smells that make it unique – for better or worse,” Titone wrote in his release.

“In Richmond County, for example, we endure the smells of New Jersey. The scent of pine, however, unifies our state like no other. From the pine barrens of Long Island to the Adirondack forests to the taxi cab air fresheners of Manhattan, the aroma of pine can be found everywhere in New York.”

“Unlike our state tree the Sugar Maple (which has no scent), the pine is an evergreen, sharing it’s unique and unifying scent for all our residents, every day of the year. The pine tree itself shares the tenacity and
can-do attitude of New Yorkers – taking root where it can, surviving and thriving.”

“The pine is the scent of Christmas, representing our best memories from our childhood and of our own families and friends. It is the scent of our open space, our city parks, and the votive candles in the shops of our merchants.”