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  1. I also think this kind of sensory experience can say something about the characters when they are filtered thought them. For example, my MC in my Prohibition Era novel is a teetotal (and for a very good, personal reason) and he’s always overly conscious of the smell of alcohol anywhere he goes and anyone he meets.
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    1. Oh yes, very true!

  2. I love when a scene is written so well you can smell everything. Well. Most of the time. A few times I’ve read them and definitely NOT things I want to smell. lol
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    1. LOL! True, true.

  3. Ah, yes, the sense of smell. The foremost memory reproducer. About the only one that tops music.
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    1. Yes, that’s what they say. Great reason to include it whenever a writer can!

  4. Interesting write up on scent..I dont know what scent I like but i defintely like mild ones. Sometimes i prefer odourless soaps etc because the scent can put me off and give me a headache.

    1. My dad is like that. He can’t stand “smelly” soap.

  5. Getting the scents right in a story is tricky for me. I love the entice the reader to enjoy what the characters are smelling, but I don’t want to fall back onto cliches. Sweet as a rose. Yuck.
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    1. Yeah. Flowers and baked goods seem to be go-to scents. Then again… if you see flowers or freshly baked goods, they are something you’ll be inclined to put your nose too. So maybe that’s why it’s the first place our mind goes?
      Sweet as a… tour at the Hershey plant in Pennsylvania, the subtle chocolate scent wafting through the entire time, making people crave the products that appear (in bulk, no less) at the end of the ride.

  6. When I read about a familiar scent is does wonders for me. It evokes memories from childhood and even recent memories. I once read a story where the battered wife described the kitchen as smelling of ammonia and bleach and even though the scene in the story was a scary one, it took me back to my sweet grandmother’s home because her kitchen always smelled like that. Smells evoke more memories than any other scent. I wish I included more smells in my draft. I always have to add the smells during revisions. I know that just about everyone is familiar with Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi’s Emotional Thesaurus book and their Positive & Negative Character Traits books (I keep them next to me when I am writing and I keep my Kindle opened to them as well,) but they also have a plethora of other thesaurus resources on their blog http://writershelpingwriters.net/thesaurus-collections/ and I am very fond of their setting thesaurus page because for each setting they give writers terrific example of all the senses that we should strive to bring out in our writing.

    Great post. Smells evoke nostalgia for most of us and that make the use of scent and smell in a novel extremely powerful.
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    1. Yeah, certain scents really do take people back, which draws them into the story more.
      I love the Emotional Thesaurus. I’m going to look at those other ones you mentioned.

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