You asked us, why does rain have such a distinctive smell?
Although a rainstorm drums up all kinds of different odors, three are common the world round.
You know that sweet fresh smell that rolls in on the wind right before a storm? That's ozone you're sniffing. Ozone is a form of oxygen. It is created by lightning that floats down from much higher altitudes. Way up in the atmosphere, ozone protects our planet from the sun's harmful rays. But down at ground level, harmful concentrations of the gas create things like smog.
But let's get back to the question.
After rain starts to fall, another smell wafts up. Petrichor hits our noses when plant oils get displaced by rain and are carried into the air.
And last but not least, that damp, musky smell after a storm passes? That's the smell of geosmin, an organic compound created by bacteria in soil.
Although there have been many attempts, no one's been able to bottle the perfectly heady smell of rain just yet.
So the next time a good summer storm rolls in, take the time to drink in those sweet, elusive scents.