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What are the ways in which the word petrichor which means scent of the rain, might be used? Can we use a phrase like "the pleasant petrichor"?

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closed as too broad by Matt E. Эллен, Josh61, choster, tchrist, medica May 22 '14 at 7:08

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Actually, it's the scent of rain on dry earth (which I LOVE!). It wasn't hard to find examples of how to use this interesting word. Here's one . . .theyuniversity.net/post/4798167818/… – Kristina Lopez Jun 14 '13 at 20:16
You'd almost certainly have to define it if you did use it. I doubt if 1% of Anglophones would know what you meant otherwise. – FumbleFingers Jun 14 '13 at 21:02
Related: english.stackexchange.com/questions/55573/… – Kris Jun 15 '13 at 4:54
Usage examples (mostly literal): google.com/#tbm=bks&q=petrichor&oq=petrichor – Kris Jun 15 '13 at 4:59
@Kristina: Absolutely! I think that's a brilliant link in the context of this question, given that it's actually titled How to Properly Use “Petrichor” in a Sentence. – FumbleFingers Jun 15 '13 at 15:40

I found this sentence in World Wide Words "Besides the pleasant, dewy petrichor of the post-rain afternoon, I see no hope or way out of a four-hour ride with the enigmatic mumbler." http://www.worldwidewords.org/weirdwords/ww-pet2.htm

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This is from the OED:

"First there is petrichor, the dry smell of unbaked clay, from the Greek for ‘stone-essence’." (L. Forbes, 1999)

It was coined in 1964 out of petro- and ichor. It isn't so much the scent of rainfall as it is the scent produced when rain falls on rock/ground, or the scent "the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather". (The smell of wet earth?)

This is what Wikipedia says:

[The people who coined the word] describe how the smell derives from an oil exuded by certain plants during dry periods, whereupon it is absorbed by clay-based soils and rocks. During rain, the oil is released into the air along with another compound, geosmin, a metabolic by-product of bacteria, which is emitted by wet soil, producing the distinctive scent; ozone may also be present if there is lightning.

EDIT: @Mitch: You're right, I didn't really answer the question. Since the word was coined so recently, and since there aren't a great many citations in the OED or elsewhere in which the word is actually used in a sentence, I would say that you can pretty much substitute "petrichor" for "the scent of wet earth", etc. in any context: there don't seem to be any subtleties in its meaning.

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This is a good definition, but it doesn't answer the question of the ways the word could be used in a sentence. – Mitch Jun 14 '13 at 21:05

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