Can we bottle that, please?

Close your eyes and imagine the scent of spring rain …

Can you smell the moisture, unfolding leaves, and rich dampness of the awakening earth?

I’ve written about this before but I recently caught another whiff of a fragrance that has its own name (as all classic perfumes do). It’s known as petrichor, which Wikipedia defines as “the earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil.” The word is a combination of the Greek petra (stone) and ichor (the fluid that flows in the veins of the mythological gods).

Interestingly, MIT researchers who study the ephemeral science of this singular scent have just determined how petrichor is produced. As enigmatic as the chemistry behind that old book smell, the aroma of rain—particularly pronounced after a spell of warm, dry weather—can now be explained in technical terms that essentially boil down, as Treehugger.com puts it, to “the fizz and frenzy of raindrops liberating the ground’s unique fragrance into the air for all to smell.”

Take a look:

 

Leave a comment 10 Comments

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    This is really cool because rain does produce a wonderful earthy and clean smell. Plus, the odor differs by where you are and the time of year. It is amazing and mysterious when you get right down to it!

  2. Now you can wear that scent. I was given some of Demeter’s Dirt fragrance as a gift. see:

    http://www.demeterfragrance.com/58083/704073/All-Classic-Scents/Dirt.html

    So,enjoy exploring the world of fragrance on this website.

    Personally I have always loved the ” rain” scents, so fresh and clean and green,. But the ” Dirt” smelled odd to me, perhaps only a fellow gardener would be drawn to this. I am wearing real Bulgarian Rose oil to celebrate Valentine’s Day . It is divine- it is the real deal and truly is like a real damask rose in your hand.

  3. Oh , and MaryJane check out Demeter’s ” Honey ” scent, would be perfect for you!

    http://www.demeterfragrance.com/58083/704114/All-Classic-Scents/Honey.html

    oh and apropos of this post, ofcourse their ” Rain” scent :

    http://www.demeterfragrance.com/58083/704174/All-Classic-Scents/Rain.html

    HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY MARYJANE

  4. Cindi says:

    Wow! Yes, I know that is not a very intelligent, thought provoking comment but that is because there is an intense processing going on in my brain after watching that video. Too busy thinking about raindrops, soil and scents to think of anything more intelligent to say than “Wow!”. Funny how that very same thing happens to me when I look out the window and watch the rain, deep in thought. I wonder if they can find a reason for that.

  5. Coni says:

    Another scent I love is a sprinkling of rain on hot asphalt. Being a “city-grown” girl, it is a comfort smell for me. I suppose an appropriate name for the fragrance would be asphaltosichor; a word which is a combination of the Greek asphaltos (a brown or black semi-solid bituminous material that occurs in natural deposits — asphalt) and ichor (the fluid that flows in the veins of the mythological gods).

    Whatever the name, wherever, whenever, the rains fall, enjoy the scent and the negative ions!

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