Perfume and Synesthesia

One of my greatest writing influences is Vladimir Nabokov, whose magical prose was said to be inspired by his synesthesia, defined in the dictionary as:

  1. the production of a sense impression relating to one sense or part of the body by stimulation of another sense or part of the body. (All your senses are mixed up! You can taste letters and smell sounds. Trippy!)
poison ad
Dior’s Poison, for instance. My first real perfume that I had when I was fourteen. I tracked down a half bottle of the original formula, one of the most maligned fragrances of the era. It is a dark, grapey, thick, tuberose type sent that is VERY strong. I wouldn’t wear it around anyplace in public. But I will take a big snootful when I begin my creative practice. This outre fragrance evokes all of my early adolescent longings and aspirations for an exciting, glamorous, unknown future, I can also almost hear my Velvet Underground records and smell the stale odor of the hidden ashtrays in my bedroom. It makes me feel dreamy and irresolute. An excellent state to be in for my work.
Next I plan to track down THIS screaming, dramatic perfume:
teatro ad
As I recall it is a brash, spicy oriental and I bathed my embryonic woman-self in it on the regular. Funny how IN YOUR FACE fragrance was in the 80s. Nothing really compares these days. Except maybe this one:
edenperfume ad
It is called “Eden,” and it is…weird. Said to be a work of art to resemble a futuristic, synthetic version of “nature” that no longer exists. People either love it or hate it. It is said to smell of chlorine, swampiness, chemicals, jungle humidity, and OZONE. And I LOVE it. For working on fiction, that is. Gets me in a slightly uneasy, confused mindset. It is not a scent from my youth like the others, but it is VERY evocative of scary carnivorous space plants and lagoons. It serves my purpose.
And BTW, my newest work was released last month. A futuristic, unease-inducing dystopian coming-of age novel, “The Gilded Lynx.” Please do check it out if you don’t mind novels that are cross-genre, hard to classify, etc. If anything I think you will find that it is different. Cheers!

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