We all know of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” and I do have to admit, the lyric “a smell of wine and cheap perfume is a pretty descriptive line.
Using a descriptive line like this to evoke the sense smell is something that’s important for writers. Also, for people who have tasted wine, this lyric might also think of their favorite wine.
So with the sense of smell, the options of smells that you can write about are limitless. I have a friend who would tell me when we hugged that I smelt like fresh laundry. I know, that’s a weird complement. But the reason why she would say that to me is that I washed my laundry with Febreze scented Tide since I’ve used Tide for as long as I can recall and I like the scent of Febreze.
But being told that I smell like fresh laundry describes a couple of different things: that I have an interesting signature scent and I kept my clothes clean.
Now that I’ve moved back home, I have to deal with my mother’s constantly smoking when ever I am around. I constantly tell her not to smoke around cause I don’t want my clothes to smell like cigarette smoke, as well as we all know how unhealthy it is to smoke, since I’m a none smoker.
And our favorite lyric about wine and cheap perfume is also a great way to describe someone’s scent. But beyond that, scents also can easily describe any place.
I once worked at an Inn that had a group of rooms, before they remodeled, that a had a mixture of fish, beer and cigarettes. And last semester when I was at Bemidji State, I work in the kitchen of a different establishment in which any given night I work, I smell anything from cheeseburgers to pastas to nachos to other foods that make me want to spend a whole pay check on food.
As writers, we have a certain responsibility to ensure that we engulf our readers’ senses, if we’re writing pieces that demand the senses.