The Continuing Saga of Smell

Museum display behind glass. Rows upon rows of stone or plaster noses that lok like htey'd been chiped off or fallen off statues. At the bottom of the picture are a few ears and a miscellaneous eye.

Nasothek: nose collection by scotted400 CC 3.0

I never thought I’d write this much about scents…

Back in December, I purchased a Living Social coupon for a friend and I to mix our own perfumes at Aroma Workshop in Chicago. We set a date to go. And then nose-magedon happened. Thinking that sleep and willpower would make my cold go away, I plowed ahead.

Of course my willpower wasn’t as magical as I thought and my nose was still stuffed the day of, although I could successfully breathe out of one nostril (aren’t you so glad you know that?).

It was a fun afternoon with my friend and, from the whole scent journal perspective, it was fascinating. First, who knew you could create your own perfume?

At Aroma Workshop, you sit in front of a case of different scents that are grouped into floral, fruit, citrus and mysterious (e.g. Lake Shore Drive, burn, frankincense) and you smell them, keeping the ones you like in front of you. While I was telling my friend that something smelled like paint and she was telling me that I was oh-so wrong, a woman behind the counter was watching what we liked and creating custom mixes based on them.

I was surprised at what I did and didn’t like. I was more partial to citrus, but not a fan of grapefruit (which I love in soap). I didn’t think I was a flower girl, but I leaned more towards floral than fruit (which I used to be my staple lotion scents in high school and college). I liked the fig and cucumber lotions I from those big lotion stores, but I didn’t like them as perfume oils. And I really liked the burn smell. Hmm.

The associations (paint, fresh, stinging, happy, India, relaxing) that popped into our heads while we were testing the scents highlighted that I need to use more smells in my writing.


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