Monday, October 8, 2012

Nose-gasms: Playing with smells

Only the best Sandalwood incense in the world!
To go along with my previous post about touching anything and everything for writing research, I thought I would write about taking another field trip. This time, it's for your nose! Like I said before, I love putting in the little details to make a story richer.

So some afternoon or morning, take a notebook and a pen and get out into nature to smell things. Fall is an excellent time to smell the air and the leaves. Take some time, relax, enjoy the day. This is as much a gathering information/research exercise as it is time to yourself, alone, where you can just be and take it easy. Just let stress fall away.

When you get home make a cup of coffee, tea, or coco and note how it smells, how it makes you feel. Then attack the things in your home that have scents. Note how the litter box smells if you have one, I know it generally stinks but how does it stink?

I think most of my friends know this, but when I was living at home with my parents, and they were still buying the powder laundry detergent, I would stand back by the washer and smell Mountain Spring Tide. It smelled so good! Don't worry, I wasn't huffing it, just smelling it. I don't think it smelled like a mountain spring, but it was nice none the less.

I also used to spray some of my Mom's perfume on my clothes. For some reason my Mom always has the best perfume. So go smell some or aftershave or cologne, see if the smell of it is nostalgic or reminds you of someone. Maybe a new character of yours has a particular scent they love wearing.

Bath and Body Works!
Fennel, I think it has a kind of licorice scent
Go smell your shampoo, dish soap, and lotions. Stick your nose in your books, DVD cases, and refrigerator. Smell herbs at the grocery store, food while it's cooking. you get the point.
Even if you're only gathering notes for now, you'll have this for later. Or you could spend some time researching a scent you know you like or come across and write a short story about it. 


  1. I am in favor of any assignment that ends in a 'anything' gasm. ^_^

  2. This is something I think I will definitely try. Not this week, but in the coming weeks. I have much practice in writing the other senses - or lack there of - but alas, I don't practice much with smell. I think I need to remedy this. Thank you for sharing!