I grew up right next to the Pacific and the sea there smells salty, briny, cold, fresh.
Except at low tide, which I have come to appreciate but that still seems to evoke 'farts' to vistors.
The Atlantic really does smell salty and sea weedy- maybe that whiff of iodine?
When I was in Greece the water didn't have that odor at all- it was a "clean" salt water smell- not briney at all.
I think the smell depends upon the location of the ocean and the components in that particular body of water, like Limestone, iron compounds, copper, algae, high dissolved mineral content, etc.
Here's some trivia: Elemental composition of ocean water (by mass): Oxygen 85.7 Sulfur 0.0885 Hydrogen 10.8 Calcium 0.04 Chlorine 1.9 Potassium 0.0380 Sodium 1.05 Bromine 0.0065 Magnesium 0.1350 Carbon 0.0026 Calypso Marine Notes: bergamot, raspberry, bamboo leaves, nutmeg, patchouli leaves, lotus flower, driftwood accord, sandalwood, musk, white amber Il Profumo Nymphea is very oceany to me, as well: Nymphea notes: bamboo, white peach, sweet orange, white water lily, lothus flowers, water jasmine, lily-of-the-valley, white rose, white fig, honey And (this is very subjective, of course), Nica is very oceany to me: Nica notes: blueberry, grape, tangerine, violet, freesia, cardamom, cedar wood, sandalwood, musk But the Crme de la Crme of ocean fragrances to me is Les Parfums de Rosine Ecume de Rose.Select a word that suits the situation: Aroma, attar, aura, balm, bouquet, distillate, essence, fragrance, hint, perfume, pong, redolence, reek, smell, spoor, stench, stink, suggestion, tang, tinge, trace, trail, undertone, waft, whiff, whisper Study a few examples.lists contain words you could include in direct comparisons.I wondered if it has something to do with different variations of sea weed?I know my mussings probably don't help you very much. I live near the ocean and on some days you can just smell this wonderful "briney" smell coming off the cool breeze.As far as fragrances that remind me of the ocean, I like Vivara by Emilio Pucci.For some reason, almost anything with a strong vetiver note also reminds me of the ocean.I've always noticed this, but could never figure it out. I live near the ocean and on some days you can just smell this wonderful "briney" smell coming off the cool breeze.When I was in Greece I noticed the Atlantic Ocean smells different than the Aegean Sea.IMHO a "real" sea-air fragrance has yet to be captured perfectly.Demeter's Salt Air; Hawaiian Surf (some say it's the same fragrance re-packaged.) I have the Salt Air and it does have a bit of what we're talking about. Those are really the only two that come *somewhat* close.