Why does rain have such a distinctive smell?
Why does rain have such a distinctive smell? (Thinkstock)
Why does rain have such a distinctive smell?
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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. It is a form of oxygen 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 is the smell of geosmin. It is 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.

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/tween78/why-does-rain-have-such-distinctive-smell/

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why hasn't anyone been able to bottle the smell of rain yet?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (34)
  • nicholasl-2-bar
    3/14/2016 - 07:06 p.m.

    Nobody has been able to bottle the smell of rain yet because it's made of so many things. The article says that the smell is made of organic materials, which is probably why nobody can make it. I like this article because I didn't know why rain smelled that way. I was surprised that rain smell was caused by organic things.

  • theaw-4-bar
    3/14/2016 - 07:17 p.m.

    People haven't been able to bottle the smell of rain yet because humans smell scents that cannot be man made, they are made purely from nature. We smell ozone, "a form of oxygen created by lightning that floats down from much higher altitudes." We also smell Petrichor. It "hits our noses when plant oils get displaced by rain and are carried into the air." And finally we smell geosmin. Geosmin is the "damp, musky smell after a storm passes." I can imagine it would be hard to capture all of these smells perfectly. Also, you smell these smells at different times, so it would smell differently if they were combined. To conclude, I liked this article because I have always wondered why we do not have man made things that smell like rain.

  • alexanderc-6-bar
    3/14/2016 - 07:20 p.m.

    Bottling smells is hard to do. In the article it states,"Although there have been many attempts, no one's been able to bottle the perfectly heady smell of rain just yet." Smells can't be properly bottled. If you even bottled the smell of rain, if you wanted to smell it, you would have to open the bottle and the smell would escape. I find this article interesting because I did notice that rain had a particular smell.

  • josepht-2-bar
    3/15/2016 - 10:39 p.m.

    No one has ever bottled up the smell of rain yet because, there are three different smells that come make the smell. "You know that sweet fresh smell that rolls in on the wind right before a storm? That's ozone you're sniffing." that's one of the smells. "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 is the smell of geosmin. It is an organic compound created by bacteria in soil." I found this article interesting because I never knew why the rain smelled so distinctive.

  • maddyc-Orv
    3/16/2016 - 01:59 p.m.

    No one has been able to bottle the smell of rain because in the article it says that the smell of rain is created by bacteria in soil. Of what I know of, you cannot put soil bacteria in candles.

  • tiffanyf-1-bar
    3/18/2016 - 02:14 a.m.

    No one has been able to bottle the smell of rain because it is made up of three different gases, ozone, petrichor, and geosmin that each produce specific scents .This makes it extremely difficult to bottle to scents. The article states,"Although there have been many attempts, no one's been able to bottle the perfectly heady smell of rain just yet." Bottled rain is still currently being developed and will eventually be produced sometime in the future. This article was interesting because I always loved the smell of the air after it rained and this article explained why this happens.

  • emilyr-ver
    3/18/2016 - 09:11 a.m.

    I thought this article was very interesting because when I go outside after it rains I think that it smells really good. When I smell those smells I think of spring and flowers blooming because we smell that a lot in spring because of all the rain.

  • sarahr-ver
    3/18/2016 - 09:13 a.m.

    The reason people haven't been able to put the smell of rain into a bottle is because, there are so many components to the smell it's might be hard to do. Also, ozone the type of oxygen that smells fresh, and clean might be hard to copy and put in a bottle.

  • nicoles-ver
    3/18/2016 - 03:23 p.m.

    I think no one has been able to bottle the smell of rain because it wouldn't be the same if it was created in a lab. Maybe they could try with different chemicals, like man made ones instead of the real chemicals found during a rainstorm. I never even thought about how rain gets its smell but now I realize that it's not from the rain itself, it's from what the rain hits which then gives off the different smells.

  • olivias1-ver
    3/18/2016 - 03:27 p.m.

    It was vey interesting because I always have wondered why there was a smell in the air, when rain was coming. I also liked how it explained how the atmosphere created certain gasses that lowered durning a storm to produce a rainy smell

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