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The Chemical Pleasure-Garden: Edith Dekyndt

(Part. one, San Sebastiano da Po, April 2019)

Generally mild weather, intermittent rain

Petrichor is the earthly scent produced after rain has fallen on dry ground.
After the rain, the soil, combined with the sediment compounds, releases volatile compounds which, when combined with geosmin, an organic compound produced by certain bacteria, produce an earthy smell that stays in the atmosphere for a short time.

The word was introduced by the Australian mineral chemists Isabel Joy Bear and Richard Grenfell Thomas from the ancient Greek πέτρα / petra (stone) and ἰχώρ / īchōr (fluid, blood), the ichor designating the blood of the gods in the Greek mythology. According to the authors, ‘The diverse nature of the host material has led us to propose the name “petrichor” for this apparently unique odour which can be regarded as …

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