Wednesday, 22 May 2019

The power of scent

At the moment the garden is full of jasmine, just coming into bloom. The stuff grows like weeds for me. We won't mention the real weeds, which are romping away as I am engrossed in the day job. It will be a flame thrower and a hacksaw when I finally emerge. Or maybe I'll just move.

Authors are encouraged to use all five senses in descriptions.  Perhaps because it grows so well in the garden, jasmine is a flower, and a fragrance, that I use a lot in books. On the whole I like to describe nice smells, just as I like to write about sunshine.

There is a tendency, particularly in historical novels, to dwell on the nasty ones, and I have to say, I get a bit bored by it. Unpleasant smells are all just that, unpleasant, and you can encounter plenty in real life, and I am an escapist reader at heart. Why dwell on the nasty stuff, when you don't have to. Of course I also like to write dark and scary along with the romance, which is a bit contradictory, but at least everything smells good while I'm doing it.

And there are so many nuances and layers to the attractive scents.

The second Riviera Rogues, which is written, and not too scary, but still needs a lot of work, has a garden in it. It's surrounding a sort of villa/farmhouse in the hills near Nice, on the French Riviera, where my hero and heroine spend a kind of lost weekend. I've been thinking quite a bit about it, as I remember planting quite a lot of jasmine in it when I was creating it. It's set around now, time wise, and all the scent in my own garden is reminding me. Or maybe it's just that I really do want to get back to some writing again that's not academic. It will be a while yet, but it's good to know it's there, waiting for me. 


  1. I, too, love the smell of jasmine, Evonne. It brings back memories of the first time we visited my aunt in Greece. The evening air was always heavy with its lovely scent as we walked back to her house from the harbour. Naturally, it features in my Greek novel.