Jessica was reading The Winter Vault by Anne Michaels, and she came across a new word. She shared it with me. Wikipedia defines the word in this way:
Petrichor (pronounced /ˈpɛtrɨkər/; from Greek petros “stone” + ichor the fluid that flows 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 absorbed by clay-based soils and rocks. During rain, the oil is released into the air along with another compound, geosmin, producing the distinctive scent.
There’s no chance I’ll read the book, but I like the word.