Definition: Petrichor (pronounced: pet-ri-kuhr); Greek; noun
1. The pleasant smell outside after it rains
The word is constructed from the Greek word, petros, meaning stone and ichor is the fluid that flows in the veins of the gods in Greek mythology.
Why I love this word:
Petrichor is the pleasant smell outside on concrete after it rains. Nature is a complex mixture of elements and how we as humans respond to things like the weather is quite remarkable. Whenever it rains it reminds me of being with my grandmother at the home I grew up. Both her and my grandfather are storytellers and they never missed a moment to share a story with my cousins and I, whether it was fact or fiction. They would say that the rain washes all of your troubles away. It cleanses the earth and if you lay outside it will cleanse your soul and make you anew. Being the perfectionist that I was (and still kind of am) I laid out in the grass every time it poured thinking and believing it made me a purer child. Why my grandmother would tell me to lay out in the grass while it rained, I'm not so sure, but it definitely prepared me for high school soccer when our season was in the winter. It was like the rain was already a part of me, clearing my mind and making sure I enjoyed every moment of being young, happy and alive. Much like perfume, there is a science behind the scent of rain on concrete. Nature provides a complicated mixture of different compounds created by the oily essences emitted from rocks and soils, each unique in its own right. From this complicated mixture comes petrichor.
Photograph by Chris Ozer