USA / Angel Island

One of the clients I’m working with is a scent and flavouring company. So when we crafted the design story for them, we activated our olfactory library to emphatise. For me, the most pleasant memories usually involve pine, cedar and fern, which is what Angel Island smells like!


Angel Island is an island in San Francisco Bay, California. San Francisco itself has amazing layers of scent that deserve a separate post. My immediate recollections are ocean, coffee, musk, urine and wet boulders. Angel Island though, takes the cake. The scent, sight and tactile experiences are beautifully coherent, especially in late spring or early summer when the landscape is ripe with olfactory and visual stimulus.

Location of of Angel Island, San Francisco and Alcatraz via

When you survey the various topography, Angel Island will present an unfolding carousel of scents. You’ll be reminded of the rich ecology that cohabits the natural park as the wind blows. Eucalyptus, pine, cedar and ferns are safe to say the hero scents because you can smell them wherever you are on the island!


Best of all, Angel island is 25 minutes away from SF with ferry. To get there, one of the options is to take Blue and Gold ferry from Pier 41 at Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s $10 to and fro. You may also opt the tour to Alcatraz, which is a short ride away.


When you’re in the island, I highly recommend tram tour for first time visitors because it gives the historical accounts of the different sites. The tram tour is $15 for adults. You can book from here. But you can also rent bicycles and segways from the website!


There are cafes in the island, but I would say pack sandwiches and have lunch in the open. Have a blissful siesta following that. Just beware of birds.


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