While thinking about my writing, I’ve noticed something odd. I give my lead female characters a scent. Don’t do it so much with the men, but the women have it whether they be published or not.
I do know that our sense of smell is one of the strongest for memory recall. So putting smell into a scene can’t hurt.
Ariadne Teddington, the heroine of Locked Up, Locked In and Locked Down, carries the scent of fresh apples. It’s mostly her shampoo and it smells a lot better than the claustrophobic, testosterone-packed corridors of the prison where she works.
Amethyst Forrester from my Of Aether steampunk series, bears the aroma of lavender. In her defence, we are talking about a Victorian lady so she uses what she can. Yes, I know that there were plenty of perfumeries around in the Victorian era, but she grew up without a lot of money, and a number of lavender bushes in the back garden. Oh, must remember to have her plant more in the new house.
Jessica MacDonald appears in a few short stories I’ve written, she’s a pathologist who smells of warm vanilla. I’m guessing that no one wants to smell of dead bodies.
Then I thought about the heroine of my next set of books. I know her, but won’t reveal to much of her yet. But when thinking of her, I spent ages trying to remember what she smells of. Couldn’t do it. So I went to my files and had a quick check. She doesn’t smell of anything particularly and after checking I know why. It’s not because she’s stinky and doesn’t wash, and it’s not mentioned anywhere either, but I know her and I know why. She doesn’t have a signature scent because she mostly uses unscented products but even breaks that rule occasionally because the products she does buy are whatever is on offer at the time.
Off the top of my head, the only published character who I know has a distinctive smell is Janet Evanovich’s Ranger. Love Ranger in the books. He uses Bvlgari, can’t recall exactly what one, other than it was in dark green packaging.
So what about you? Do your characters have a scent that distinguishes them?