Of Stories and Scents

Currently listening to The Carnival by Amanda Jenssen First, an announcement. I have a new short story up on QuarterReads. It’s called “A Divine Wager”, and it’s found here. Remember, you can now “favorite” writers on the site, which means you’ll be notified when they publish new stories. And every week, there’s a free story. This week, it’s Natalia Theodoridou’s “We Call Her Mama”. The rest of this post is just a little bit of nonsense, and I’ll elaborate later. But for me–and for many others–scents can be very evocative. Maybe you always associate the smell of baking cookies with your grandmother, or lavender reminds you of the candles your aunt always had burning in the house. I love perfume, and one of my favorite places to get perfume is Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. Which means I love being able to get various scents from them. Right now, my favorite is probably Pink Snowballs, which is an older scent–one that’s been released a few times as part of Yule collections (yes, BPAL has all kinds of collections, including limited edition releases for holidays). It’s a sweet, soft vanilla rose. But there are other scents, too. A whole line, for example, of scents based on the movie Only Lovers Left Alive. I have one of them, Quintessence of Dust. What does it smell like, you ask? Well, here’s the scent description: “The passing: beeswax and smoke, yellowed paper and well-worn leather books, droplets of spilled ink, faded incense, blood-tinged salty tears, and the metal of the knife that skewers that illiterate zombie philistine’s portrait.” And…that’s really kind of what it smells like. The scent descriptions are all fascinating, and many of them are impressive works of writing. Most of the scents are designed to be very evocative, and more than once, I’ve found myself applying a blend that helps put me in the mindset of a particular character, or something that strikes me as “fitting” for the scene I’m working on. ~Sofia