Monday, April 25, 2011

Scent that Book!: Frostbite

Scent That Book! is a new, reoccurring feature here at Feminine Things. It is premised on the idea that even books require perfuming, whether the authors realize that or not.

This month I bring to you, for Scent that Book!, the second volume of Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy six-book series. The series is a New York Times Best Seller list and has been optioned for a film series.

Here's a brief description of the series premise:

It tells the story of Rose Hathaway, a seventeen-year-old Dhampir girl, who is training to be a bodyguard for her Moroi best friend, Vasilisa "Lissa" Dragomir. In the process of learning how to defeat Strigoi (the undead and evil vampires) in St. Vladimir's Academy, Rose finds herself caught in a forbidden romance with her handsome instructor, Dimitri Belikov, while having an unbreakable bond with Lissa.
The series is surprisingly good despite the generic name.  It has a lot of lovely scent related description, so much so that I wonder if author is into perfume herself.  The passage that caught my eye in this book is outlined below.
Opening up the door, I saw one of the hotel staff standing outside with a large box in both arms. He shifted it slightly so that he could peer around and look at me. 
"I'm looking for Rose Hathaway?" 
"That's me." 
I took the box from him. It was big but not all that heavy. With a quick thank-you, I shut the door, wondering if I should have tipped him. Oh well. 
I sat on the floor with the box. It had no markings on it and was seraled with packing tape. I found a pen and stabbed at the tape. Once I'd hacked off enough, I opened the box and peered inside.

It was filled with perfume.

There had to be at least thirty bottles of perfume packed into the box. Some I'd heard of, some I hadn't. They ranged from crazy-expensive, movie-star caliber to cheap kinds I'd seen in drug stores. Eternity. Angel. Vanilla Fields. Jade Blossom. Michael Kors. Poison. Hypnotic Poison. Pure Poison. Happy. Light Blue. Jovan Musk. Pink Sugar. Vera Wang. One by one, I picked up the boxes, read the descriptions, and then pulled out the bottles to sniff.

[...] Once more, I started pulling out bottle after bottle. Some I just sniffed the cap of; others I sprayed in the air. Serendipity. Dolce & Gabbana. Shalimar. Daisy. Note after note hit me: rose, violet, sandalwood, orange, vanilla, orchid...

By the time I was finished, my nose barely worked anymore. All of these had been designed for humans. They had a weaker sense of smell than vampires and even dhampirs, so these scents were extra strong. I had a new appreciate for what Adrian had meant about only a splash of perfume being necessary. If all these bottles were making me dizzy, I could only imagine what a Moroi would smell. The sensory overload wasn't really helping the headache I'd woken up with either.

I packed up the perfume for real this time, stopping only when I came to a certain kind I really liked. I hesitated, holding the little box in my hand. Then, I took the red bottle out and re-sniffed it. It was a crisp, sweet fragrance. There was some kind of fruit--but not a candied or sugary fruit. I racked my brain for a scent I'd smelled on a girl I knew in my dorm. She'd told me the name. It was like a cherry...but sharper. Currant, that's what it was. And here it was in this perfume, mixed with some florals: lily of the valley and others I couldn't identify. Whether the blend, something about it appealed to me. Sweet. but not too sweet. I read the box, looking for a name. Amor Amor.

"Fitting," I muttered, seeking how many love problems I seemed to have lately. But I kept the perfume anyway and repacked the rest. (pp. 198-200)
Wow.  A box of perfume.  I don't know if I could send it back.  Okay, no, let's be honest, I would definitely not send it back. Unless the guy was a total creeper, and in the book in question, he's not. That said , eighteen scents are listed, which means at least twelve are not.  So my questions to you are:  (a) What else do you think was in the box; (b) Does any of this seem "crazy expensive" to you? (Not me.)  what "crazy expensive" scents would you toss into the package?; (c) given the list provided, would you have chosen Amor Amor?

Since the above scents are fairly outside my mostly indie scent realm, I'm not sure what would be in my box.  Trying to keep the missing twelve scents in the range already outlined in the book, I like to think the box contained Calvin Klein Obsession, Robert Piguet Fracas, Coty Sand & Sable, Stella Nude, Calvin Klein Euphoria, Prada Infusion d'Iris, Kenzo Flower, Revlon Charlie,  SJP LovelyChloe Chloé, Tocca Cleopatra, Chanel No. 5.

If I was adding crazy expensive scents, I'd certainly add L'Artisan Iris PallidaGuerlain Spiritueuse Double Vanille, and  Ralph Lauren Notorious (the last one for the lols).

My choice, of the actual given list: Shalimar. 


star said...

I think a sharp cherry scent would suit Rose. She isn't exactly classy, ya know?

Have you read the Rachel Morgan books by Kim Harrison? Those books are constantly talking about how people and things smell. You would likely have fun with them too. :)

Diana said...

I have NOT read those, Star, but they definitely going on my reading list. Thanks for the perfumed books tip!