The sweet distinctive smell that lingers around in the air; the same thing that 9 out of 10 poets talk about in their poetic depiction of the spring season?

How many times have you enjoyed the ‘earthly aroma’ after it rains?

Mike’s Journal

The source of happiness that you read about in wanderlust experiences about how it is the elixir of total elation?

How Stuff Works

The phenomenon that signals the arrival of spring and fills you up with joy?


Anyway, let’s cut to the chase. The sweet smell is actually that of a bacteria!

Sorry to break your little ‘happiness’ bubble but Actinomycetes, a type of filamentous bacteria grows in the soil when conditions are damp/warm is what you’re snorting! When the soil dries, the bacteria produces spores. The wetness and the force of the rainfall kick the spores in the air where moisture (after rain) acts as an aerosol. 

Study Blue

The bacteria is extremely common and found in areas all over the world, which explains the universal existence of this ‘after-rain’ sweet smell.


So essentially, the aroma in the air is nothing but an interplay of bacteria and dampness that tickles your nasal cavity.


I hope they capture the essence in the form of a perfume bottle! Yes, I am a petrichor!