So after 3 months of freezing weather and the impending doom of the quarterly gas bill, we finally get some sunshine…… For about 3 days…for a total of about 3 hours.

But it has at least allowed a whiff of that wonderfully nostalgic and evocative scent of petrichor.

You know petrichor? That rain smell? ‘The essence of rock’ is how its name is usually translated. But what a wonderful stink it is, if only you could bottle it. In fact people have tried though i don’t imagine it made much impact in the world of perfumery. I guess they figured you couldn’t patent it.

It was only in the 60’s that we really began to understand how the smell is produced. Australian scientists Bear and Thomas coined the name and discovered that oils from vegetation are abosrbed by rocks or stones and then released when it rains.

Bear, I.J.; R.G. Thomas (March 1964). “Nature of argillaceous odour”. Nature 201 (4923): 993–995. doi:10.1038/201993a0.

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One Response to Petrichor

  1. Micha says:

    Hej there! I was just recentliy lying in my bed thinking “this stinks”, so I changed the sheets. It still stank, though of some flowerish chemical. I realized that I would rather have the smell of fresh rain.
    You say people have tried to manufacture it!? Could you help me find out more about this?


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