Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Descriptions are HARD

Or, why does everyone smell like vanilla?

In which I fangirl all over Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab.

Not that vanilla isn't nice, but it's a vastly overused fragrance to waft around your heroine and entice her Love Interest. Characters should have signature scents, but let's break out of the vanilla box, shall we? I have a friend whose smell is so unique, I notice it before her and think, "Sheena's here!" It's a blend of Paul Mitchell mousse, and some other things that I forgot after she explained them to me because I just like the Sheena-smell, and don't plan to recreate it.

Describing your characters' scents can be daunting, though. Also, not everyone geeks out on perfume the way I do. But did you guys know that Juicy Couture's signature fragrance was inspired by the idea of how our bodies would smell in heaven? What would your dream angel smell like? Tarragon? Sawdust? Coconuts?

Here's where you should open another window and go to www.blackphoenixalchemylab.com.

The smell of the oil Desire is, "The overwhelming agony of passion crystallized into a singularly dark and magnetic blend: bittersweet neroli, black patchouli and black musk, gilded by apple, bergamot, blood red rose, teak, and vanilla."

 Hey look! Vanilla! But it's gilded by apple. And teak! And they said "overwhelming agony of passion" and oh my God why didn't I come up with that line first.

Bengal (from the Wanderlust collection) is "skin musk with honey, peppers, clove, cinnamon bark and ginger." And if you read about a character who smelled of honey, cinnamon, and ginger, what would you think about their personality? Me, I'm thinking warm and sensual. And also that I'm a little hungry.

My MC in Southern Rock, Carolina, smells of orange blossoms, roses, and rosemary. I straight lifted that description from BPAL's Catherine. Catherine De Medici was a noted poisoner, and that was reportedly the blend she disguised her fatal doses in. Carolina has a tendency to poison any relationship she finds herself in.

Fun With Smells, guys. Let's do it.




  1. We have to make a date to go to that Olive Oil bar. You will love it. LOVE IT, I TELL YOU! And I personally don't like vanilla. :0

  2. It's next door to my favorite spice shop. SMELLS FOR EVERYONE!


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