This week, I’m thinking about, “Petrichor.” (#amwriting)
– A pleasant smell that frequently accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather.
– Find this definition at oxforddictionaries.com.
– Coined in the 1960’s.
Do you remember that wonderful smell of freshly cut grass from childhood? I do. Sunday mornings after Dad mowed the lawn. Monday at recess, kicking a ball around. Eating barbecue and throwing frisbees at a place we called, “Hart Park.” (It’s technically, William S. Hart Ranch and Museum.) Living in the city of Seattle today, I don’t often catch the hint of Petrochors, but the thought of the fragrance still evokes memories of warm and innocent youth.
I wanted to convey that feeling in a section of my current book, so I did some research. It turns out Petrichors come from trauma. A Mental Floss article notes that, “It’s the smell of chemical defenses and first aid. The fresh, “green” scent of a just-mowed lawn is the lawn trying to save itself from the injury you just inflicted.” This release of what’s actually naturally chemicals helps to “close the wounds” and prevent infection!
Shocker, huh? I never would have guessed.