Sunday, 25 November 2012

A winter perfume



It would be hard to persuade anyone looking into a writer’s study  - desk, notes, books, cups of tea – that writing was very exciting when hard graft was in progress. At its best, writing can be a sensuous experience, a chance to retreat into an inner life and make connections from impressions and scraps of thought.
Invoking the senses while writing can be helped by playing music. I’ve always enjoyed background music while working and tend to have favourite soundtracks for each novel. The Lantern, for example, was written largely to Debussy and Fauré. This time, though, I’ve been less inclined to write with music. I don’t know why, but I’ve found myself turning the CD player off because it’s become a unwelcome distraction.

However, I have been working enveloped in a perfume. Liz Earle’s Botanical Essence No. 15 Eau de Parfum is a warming winter perfume described by its creator as a “softness and warmth like cashmere on the skin”.
I read the list of ingredients before spraying. I was thrown at first because I thought this must be No. 15 Vetiver. But no, the fragrance is a blend of all of these (and the clever packaging is based on old facsimile botanical drawings of all the natural elements in the blend):


The perfume begins to unfurl with a surprisingly citrus sparkle but it’s a Christmassy citrus that mellows into clove and cinnamon like a heady mulled wine. There are strong notes of pink pepper and musky cedarwood. This is a bold blast of oriental, the scent of red rooms and candles glowing. It’s spicy with a hint of blowsy floral and my favourite amber is plumped up with a rich base of vanilla from the tonka bean. The perfect scent for cosy days as autumn fades into winter darkness.
And thanks to the unique relationship between perfume and memory, this is the scent that will bring back the months of working on The Night Flight.

6 comments:

Bunched Undies said...

So the title is The Night Flight? Love it. You have probably announced this before, but this is the first it's registered in my befuddled brain :)

Karen Wojcik Berner said...

As I write this comment, I am trying to blend all of the scents you describe together to imagine it. Bet it is fantastic!

Evelyn said...

I often write with music on the CD. This rainy morning, for example, I'm listening to Erik Satie. Writing with fragrance, tho, sounds intriguing. I'll have to try it. Bon courage with the novel-writing! I'm sure it's going to be wonderful.

MuMuGB said...

Maybe I should try it to write more? I love your red walls!

Tuula said...

That perfume sounds absolutely lovely! Funny how much a scent can do for us... happy writing and looking forward to hearing more, bon dimanche!

Vanessa said...

I find it difficult to write with any noise going on, which is awkward since my husband and I share a study and a partners' desk. He is like a foghorn on the phone! Over the years, I have schooled myself to ignore most of it.

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