Smell can be an important and influential part of the writing process. I've started incorporating scents into mine, and I swear it's not related to neglecting laundry so I have more time to write. (I'm a freak who likes doing laundry, actually.) When I sit down to work on the first draft of my WIP, I use the smells of specific candles to get me into the atmosphere of the story. My current favorite? A cedarwood and rosewood blend that I think smells like a barrier island in summer, hot pine needles and driftwood and the Atlantic. Whether the candle objectively does or not smell like that is besides the point; when I burn it while I write, it connects me emotionally to the place I'm traveling on the page.
|My current favorite candle.|
Not every story is told in a place that smells like flowers, though. I'm not suggesting you make your desk area smell like sulfur if you're writing about hell. But I do suggest CB I Hate Perfume, which has some fantastically unique scents, like In the Library, a "warm blend of English novel, Russian & Moroccan leather bindings, worn cloth, and a hint of wood polish," or Walking in Air, which was inspired by Balanchine's The Nutcracker. (Uh, I think I need At the Beach 1966. I love the smell of Coppertone. Happiness in a bottle.)
Bath and Body Works also has a line of candles out now that includes French baguette and macaron blends, to which I say: I WANT. It's enough to make me think that the next project I work on needs to involve French bakers, so I can make my writing space smell like bread and cookies all the time.
And then there's good old Demeter Fragrance Library, which has the normal (almond; mulled cider), the cool (paperback; New Zealand), and the just plain weird (earthworm; dregs, as in the bottom of a wine barrel; and turpentine).
Obviously, you don't need a delightful or weird potpourri to write. But sometimes a little ritual, like lighting a candle or spritzing a room spray, can help you get into the mood of your story. Or it can help you unwind and let the words flow.
So, have I convinced you to get into aromatherapy for writers?