The Organic Source of Spring’s Distinct Scent

The unmistakable (and hopeful) scent that emerges around springtime has long been traced to an organic source: the soil-based compound geosmin. Scientists from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, the John Innes Centre and Lund University have attributed the familiar yet often unplaceable smell—much like a rainy day or freshly turned earth—to a “symbiotic relationship between a six-legged worm, known as the springtail, and Streptomyces, a type of bacteria commonly found in soil,” according to Popular Mechanics. Moreover, the earthy odor of geosmin acts as a chemical signal guiding springtails toward Streptomyces, which is its necessary food source. Read more about the much appreciated annual scent and the process behind it at Popular Mechanics.

Image courtesy of The Spruce