Have you ever smelled a very pleasant and distinctive smell in the air after rain?
Well, if yes then must have liked it every time you smelled it!!
But have you ever wonder why and how this sweet and distinctive smell occurs and trigger our senses??
This pleasant smell is caused due to number of things. The smell we often notice in woods is caused due to bacteria called Actinomycetes. It is a type of filamentous bacteria which usually grows in mud when weather conditions stays damp and warm. This bacterium produces spores in the soil when soil dries out. When rain happens, the wetness and force of rain droplets kick these tiny spores up into the air where moisture and humidity in rain start acting like an aerosol. The moist and humid air carries these pleasantly smelling aerosols to us and we breathe them. These spores carry this distinctive smell which we always associate with first rainfall.
One kind of sweet smell is caused due to acidity of rain. Because of pollution and increase in level of chemicals in the atmosphere, rainwater becomes acidic. When this acidic water comes in direct contact with chemicals or organic debris on ground level, it caused a very peculiar aromatic reaction.
Another smell comes from volatile oils which get released from trees and plants. Over the time, the oil collects itself at the surface of plant or tress. Therefore, when it rains; the oil comes in direct contact with rain droplets which produces a gas which gets carried away in the atmosphere.
This pleasant and fresh smell is so soothing that we wish that we could store it in a bottle for enjoying its aromatic qualities later on…