"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

Saturday, 14 February 2009


Petrichor is the pleasant smell that accompanies the first rain after a dry spell.

"Petrichor, the name for the smell of rain on dry ground, is from oils given off by vegetation, absorbed onto neighboring surfaces, and released into the air after a first rain." Matthew Bettelheim, Mt Shasta, California, Jan 2002.


  1. I love this word! I conjures up an amazing image and smell. I have eagerly written it in my little book of favourite words - thanks.

  2. That can be good, or bad. On the coast I remember sort of a dirty rain smell when the rains started. Sorry, it's not very articulate, but it's what I thought about when the rain hit the roads.
    Here in Arizona, the smell is almost sweet, and pure. I heard one of the weather reporters comment on the smell of creosote after the rain. Truly, it's a smell you'll never forget. Thirty years later, returning to southern AZ, Hubby commented that the smell was one of the reasons he wanted to move back here.