Petrichor...I would be surprised if anyone was familiar with this word. Paul, my good friend from South Dakota, sends me the "Word of the Day" every day and I got this one a few years ago. According to Wikipedia:
Petrichor (pronounced /ˈpɛtrɨkər/ ; from Greek petros "stone" + ichor"the fluid that is supposed to flow in the veins of the gods in Greek mythology") is the name of the scent of rain on dry earth.
The term was coined in 1964 by two Australian researchers, Bear and Thomas, for an article in the journal Nature. In the article, the authors describe how the smell derives from an oil exuded by certain plants during dry periods, whereupon it is adsorbed by clay-based soils and rocks. During rain, the oil is released into the air along with another compound, geosmin, producing the distinctive scent. In a follow-up paper, Bear and Thomas (1965) showed that the oil retards seed germination and early plant growth.
The scent is generally regarded as pleasant and refreshing, and is one of the most frequently cited "favorite smells". In desert regions, the smell is especially strong during the first rain after a long dry spell. The oil yielding the scent can be collected from rocks and concentrated to produce perfume; however, it has yet to be synthesized, perhaps due to its complexity. It is composed of more than fifty distinct chemical substances.
In simple terms, "petrichor" is that wonderful smell that comes when it rains...everyone knows it...and laundry detergent companies have tried to duplicate it. I tried looking it up in the dictionary today...it's not there. So it's not a well-known word.
Especially in Texas. I am SOOOO missing rain. It's either feast or famine here. We don't get rain for many months...then we'll get a deluge for a couple days...then another six to nine months of drought. I have spent most of my life in the midwest where we would have regular thunderstorms. Not too many...not too few. Just the right amount.
We haven't had a good rain in Texas for...well...it seems like forever...and I miss it. The sound of the raindrops on the roof...and that wonderful aroma of petrichor.
I guess I'll have to be satisfied with this video...but between you and me, it just doesn't cut it...cuz there ain't no petrichor included with the video. :-(
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Posted by Isla Deb at 7:06 PM