SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – “The aroma of green chile roasting in the fall.” Most people would qualify that scent as a New Mexico staple, but now state lawmakers are considering making it the state’s official smell.

Sponsored by Democratic Senator Bill Soules of Las Cruces, Senate Bill 188 seeks to adopt “the aroma of green chile roasting in the fall” as “the official aroma of New Mexico.” If approved, the aroma would join a list of more than 20 other state symbols, not to mention a handful of state songs, a ballad and a poem.

Sen. Soules presented the bill to the state’s Indian, Rural and Cultural Affairs Committee Tuesday alongside a handful of school kids. A fifth grade class from Monte Vista Elementary in Las Cruces spoke in support of the bill.

While green’s status as a potential “state aroma” might not seem like it’s ripe for contentious debate, at least one committee member offered alternative ideas at Tuesday’s meeting. One lawmaker suggested “the smell of oil and gas” or “dairy farms” to be considered, but students offered a counterargument about the “everywhere” presence of chile.

“No matter where you go in New Mexico, you’re going to be smelling green chile,” said an unnamed student during Tuesday’s committee hearing. “But in other states, other parts of the areas in New Mexico they don’t have the smell of cows and that stuff, roasting green chile is everywhere.

The bill cleared a committee vote by 5 to 0 Tuesday. If it gets all the way through the 2023 legislative session, the scent would be the 22nd official state symbol.

Here’s a slideshow of New Mexico’s various, officially recognized state symbols. Don’t miss the list below for a breakdown of the various state poems and songs, including state’s “official cowboy song”!

New Mexico’s state symbols, poems and songs: