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The Smell After It’s Rained is a Mix of Plant Oils and Bacteria

Smell After It's Rained Have you ever noticed a pleasant, clean smell after a rain storm? Especially if it’s a rain storm following a long period of dry weather? Some people notice it immediately, even detecting the scent before they have noticed water falling from the sky. Some people find it hard to detect, but it’s there. It leaves a pleasant, clean and earthly smell. Many say it smells good. However, did you know that the smell isn’t exactly caused by something clean. To be more precise, the smell after rain originates from bacteria, ozone and oil, amongst other things.

When it has rained it is often the case to notice a strong, but brief odour in the air. Some people can notice it better than others, but n matter where you are, the smell after it has rained can be sniffed out. So what exactly causes the distinct odour?

Scientist have a few theories as to what causes it. They believe that the clean part of the smell after rain is caused by ozone. Ozone is occasionally used to kill off odours, especially mouldy or musty ones.

While ozone is the clean scent we smell after rain, there are others that resemble a not so clean fragrance. The scent we are talking about is the one that smells like freshly turned dirt. There’s a reason for that too.

When soil dries up after being wet it releases spores that can actually survive in dry soil. When it rains, the spores will be released into the atmosphere. It fresh musty smell after rain is actually the bacteria in the air and dirt starting things over again.

Amazingly, the smell after rain is so good a perfume has even been developed to resemble it. It is called Petrichor. So now you can walk around and smell like wet, mouldy dirt.


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