Today I want to address smell. Scent is a powerful tool when writing. How often have we caught the aroma of a food that propels us to another place in time, or the haunting fragrance of a woman's perfume that reminds you of the one who broke your heart, crushed your soul?
For me Peony flowers will always be my granny's house. She has three bushes that have grown back every year with a vengeance. Even though for a decade my grandfather rode them down ruthlessly with his John Deere.
In The Familial Witch the Peony flower is a living birthmark on the heart of Aisleen. The last of the Familial Witches and the leader of the extinct coven peonies are her distinct scent as well. While I know what I remember about the flower, it would be so much easier to describe what I'm smelling while in the act. Correct?
Since I don't have the budget to fly in Peonies and keep them in an indoor fridge year round or until I'm done with this novel. I tried the next best thing. Lotion. Bath and Body Works lotion. Sprays, candles or shower gel I'm sure would work just the same. But lotion is the strongest scent next to a candle which they didn't have in the kind I need. It was all very easy and cheap at $10 for 3 bottles. (I'm working on another novel and need Gardenias. The third was just for me.) I went in told the clerk I needed something that smelled of Gardenias and one like Peonies. She pulled out this magic wheel that pointed her to the fragrances that matched the scent I wanted. And Wala!
So what do you people think method or madness? How do you creatively pull from the senses to write