Smelling Like a Dog

Wednesday in Hillsboro brought misting rain and sprinkles. Not enough wet stuff to need an umbrella (does an Oregonian ever need an umbrella?). Not enough moisture to cancel my walk to Starbucks.

The misting started right before noon so I noticed immediately that “first rain smell.”1There’s actually a word for it: petrichor. You know what I mean. After a few weeks of dry, rain releases a wonderful aroma from the thirsty earth. As I walked along, I learned a couple of things:

First, rain smell is not a single aroma; it’s a fragrance counter of scents, with different surfaces contributing to the melange. There’s the dust of the sidewalk, the oily, rubbery, asphalty blend of the road, the woody smell of the bark dust, the pungent smell of juniper, the green, grassy smell of the, uh, green grass.

Second, humid air seems to transmit other smells better. The spray paint outgassing from the SpeedRack site, the pancakes, and bacon from IHOP. When it’s raining, everything smells better.

I wonder if this is just a taste (sniff?) of what it’s like to be a dog.

Photo credit: “Snickers,” by homer4k on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons license.

  • 1
    There’s actually a word for it: petrichor.
<< Next Post
Previous Post >>