What is Petrichor?

Petrichor Candle by Yo Louie Candle co. White Candle with Raindrop graphic.

Petrichor is the earthy, pleasant scent that often accompanies the first rain after a dry spell. The word "Petrichor" is derived from the Greek words "petra," meaning stone, and "ichor," the ethereal fluid that flows in the veins of the gods in Greek mythology. The term was coined by two Australian researchers, Isabel Joy Bear and Richard Grenfell Thomas, in 1964.

When it hasn't rained for a while, the soil and rocks absorb various organic compounds, such as oils and plant residues. These compounds accumulate over time and are released into the air when it rains. The raindrops disturb the dry surface and release aerosols containing these compounds, creating the familiar aroma of Petrichor. The human ability to detect and appreciate the smell of petrichor is thought to have evolutionary roots. Our ancestors may have relied on the scent of rain to identify the presence of water sources during dry periods, which would have been crucial for their survival. 

The most important component of the Petrichor aroma is Geosmin, a chemical compound produced by algae and fungi. Geosmin has a strong earthy smell, often described as reminiscent of damp soil. It’s exceptionally distinctive and is released into the air when rain hits the ground. This is the component that is often missing from most candles that claim to be “Rain” scented. Geosmin is an expensive addition, but we here at Yo Louie think it’s worth it for the accuracy. We’ve been working on this scent from the very beginning, because we knew just how hard it was to find an “After the Rain” scented candle that didn’t smell like baby powder, cologne, or roses.

Our original Petrichor candle was launched in Summer of 2021, and has been flowing off our shelves to all the nature-lovers ever since. It smells like a deep forest with wet rocks and all kinds of greenery. Currently, we’re blending up an additional Petrichor scent for all the city slickers that love that “Rain on Asphalt” scent, so stay tuned.

Until then, check out our OG Petrichor candle.

Not a fan of the wet scents? We got you. Let’s go in the opposite direction with Campfire Stories.

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