from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A derivative of decahydronaphthalene that has a strong earthy smell


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • It's an enzyme called geosmin that gives out the smell.

    Daily News & Analysis

  • Beet aroma comes largely from an earthy-smelling molecule called geosmin, which was long thought to originate with soil microbes, but now appears also to be produced by the beet root itself.

    On Food and Cooking, The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

  • He said this was caused by a harmless chemical called geosmin produced by algae in the Voelvlei Dam near Gouda.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • "When the algae dies their cells rupture and they release a chemical called geosmin, and that's predominately what gives us our taste and odor problem," Echols said.

    TOP STORIES - News 8

  • Actinomycetes, which look like strands of fungus, break down rotting piles of vegetation, producing geosmin, the source of the aroma of healthy soil.

    Archive 2009-02-01

  • Acidity—whether in a poaching liquid, or in a buttermilk dip before frying— also mutes the volatility of fishy amines and aldehydes, and helps break down muddy-smelling geosmin that farmed freshwater fish catfish, carp sometimes accumulate from blue-green algae.

    On Food and Cooking, The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

  • The chemical culprits are two compounds that are produced by blue-green algae, especially in warm weather geosmin and methylisoborneol.

    On Food and Cooking, The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

  • The geosmin phenomenon is not unique to Cape Town: it occurs in dams throughout the country and the world.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • The council says it is only geosmin, a chemical substance produced by the algae blooms that occur in storage dams in summer.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • In the United States, scientists are trying to find ways of controlling what they delicately call "off-taste" in fish-farm catfish, which absorb geosmin in their systems.

    ANC Daily News Briefing


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  • it blows the very mind! every time I come back to this page I make like a yawfle and stare (and stare. and stare)

    April 30, 2009

  • Literally translates to "earth smell", an organic compound with a distinct earthy flavour and aroma, and is responsible for the earthy taste of beets. The human nose is extremely sensitive to geosmin. (Wikipedia)

    June 9, 2008