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From petr(o)- + ichor. The word was coined by scientists Isabel Joy Bear (Australian) and Richard Thomas (British) in their 1964 article "Nature of Argillaceous Odour", published in the journal Nature.


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petrichor ‎(uncountable)

  1. The distinctive scent which accompanies the first rain after a long warm dry spell.
    • 2010, Val Panesar, For the Sake of the Future:
      Though it had yet to begin raining, the familiar smell of petrichor appeared to be already present and Neelam suddenly wished she was sitting at home with a nice cup of tea and a good book.
  2. The yellow organic oil that yields this scent.
    • 1980, John E Bardach et al., Fish Behavior and its Use in the Capture and Culture of Fishes:
      He hypothesizes that this factor may be petrichor, an oil which has been isolated from silicate minerals and rocks [...].