Wake Up and Smell the...Character?


Happy, sad, nostalgic. Grief, pleasure, hope...Books that we remember make us feel deeply. One way we're compelled to experience emotion is through our senses. When a story is told in a way that conveys sound, taste, texture, sight, and scents, we fall into the world the author has created for us. 

On a blog with share with our writing group, we contemplated what our character, Cheyenne, would taste like if he was a candy bar. Our sense of taste not only can give us pleasure (ah, I need to write an Ode to Potato Chips), or pain (my brother LOVED chitterlings. If you don't know what these are, trust me. They can't taste good.) Taste can also evoke emotion and memories. I know this might brand me a kook but if I eat a hotdog with my mother's favorite topping it makes me cry.

Smells also seem pretty magical to me. A smell can evoke powerful memories and feelings. I cannot smell Juicy Fruit Gum or Jean Naté perfume without being transported to my grandmother's apartment in Harlem.  Scents also have a great deal to do with love and romance. Numerous studies of humans and other animals have demonstrated that we are, at least in part, attracted to scent. And if you don't believe me, just think about the success of the cologne and perfume industries. 

Since scents help us to connect to people, and we hope people connect to and in fact fall in love with our characters, it's not crazy that we began to wonder what Chey, and the other hero of our book, Zander, smell like. Zander was easy. He's a guy's guy. Alpha, but doesn't care to prove it to you. Easy going--don't test him. Never pretentious, but confident. Zander smells like Drakkar Noir. This is a fragrance that brings me to my knees. 

According to Wikipedia, Drakkar Noir has notes of bergamot, rosemary, lavender, cedar, fir balsam. It has been described by its creator as having "sensual masculine power". Marketing experts have said it "appeals to the dark, macabre, sinister side of masculine sexual fantasies and possibly to myths such as that of Faust". Once you get to know him, it will be clear to you that this is SO Zander. And guess what? We knew that his scent was Drakkar BEFORE we looked up the description. 

Identifying Cheyenne's scent was more difficult. But we knew it when we found it. 

Do you have a guess about what Chey smells like? Read the book blurb here and let us know what you think! And sign up below for our mailing list if you want to know what he really smells like and how YOU can come to know the same about your character or your book boyfriend/girlfriend.