The Next Great American (Perfume) Novel

So I am thinking of writing a book. This book would consist of short stories interspersed with perfume reviews. I want to write this book for three reasons. First, this blog has shown me that I really enjoy writing about perfume. Second, if my hypothetical book sold well, I could afford to get my kitten Zelda a really nice Roomba to play with. Finally, I want to prove the Introduction to Fiction and Poetry professor who gave me a D in her course wrong.

As perfume lovers, would you be interested in such a perfume book? Do you feel that the perfume book market is already over-saturated? Do you have any suggestions for subject material? Would any of you be interested in sharing your own perfume-related stories (which would of course be credited to you) for this book? How many question marks can I fill this post with? (At least one more, apparently). Any advice, ideas or suggestions would be very, very welcome.

22 thoughts on “The Next Great American (Perfume) Novel

  1. I would be very interested, especially because I believe you will write from angle which isn’t too explored yet.
    If you need my story (if I have one hahah) – I am here. πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you so much, Bellatrix! I’m sure you have a fascinating story πŸ™‚ I would like most to hear about any memories you have involving perfume that you feel are special or significant. Like you pointed out, I think that current perfume books have mostly been written from the critical analysis viewpoint so far, not as much storytelling.

  2. Sounds like a great idea!
    What kind of stories are you looking for? Fictional with dreamed up characters or real stories of life of a wearer? I bet both would be fun to read (and write!)

    1. Thank you very much, Warum! I am looking for real-life stories that illustrate the roles that perfume can play in our lives. I have my own, of course, but I don’t really have any related to family, because my family members claim to be allergic to perfume.

  3. There’s so much room for perfume books! I’d like to buy more myself. I’m not sure reviews are the best approach — since perfumes are reformulated so frequently, by the time the book goes to print your review isn’t valid.

    1. This is excellent advice, Elisa, thank you. I think you are right; I would do better to focus on using the perfume as a jumping-off point to tell a story than to write highly technical analyses of perfumes. I’ll leave that to Luca and Tania.

        1. Yep, they’re revisiting the 5-star perfumes for a book with just those. They probably had to degrade a bunch of the ones in the original guide 😦

  4. I agree with the previous posters about there being loads of scope in the perfume market for a book. I spotted a gap in the market for a calendar featuring perfume bottles, but have done SFA about it, so good on you if you see this one through. Oh, and you are welcome to any input from my side if you decide to collect stories (in my own case it was a negative experience that triggered “sudden onset perfume mania” in 2008).

    I know I would enjoy reading anything you wrote, whether on the subject of perfume, bonsai trees or the mating habits of aphids. You know, the writing equivalent of that thing people say on American Idol: “You could sing the phone book.” Whatever the subject matter and slant, I hope your trademark sassiness will be prominently featured!

    1. What a great segue into my upcoming novel about the mating habits of aphids! I can’t thank you enough for your generous words. I would be very interested to hear about your perfume mania trigger; if it feels too personal for the comments section, you are welcome to email me about it at

      For better or for worse, the sassiness stays. I suspect it played no small role in my D in Fiction and Poetry.

  5. I know nothing about the market for the perfume-related books but I would buy such a book if it’s written by somebody I “know” (well, you’ll have to promise to sign one for me πŸ˜‰ ).

    I have a question though… I’m worried a little: what has happened to the first Roomba (the one you were selling perfumes for)? Is your kitten done with it already? At that rate (one Roomba per week) you’ll have to write a very popular book πŸ™‚

    1. Allow me to assuage your Roomba fears! I have not actually purchased one yet (still comparing models). Maybe I should have been clearer that the pictures of kittehs on Roombas that accompanied those posts were not Zelda!

      I would be delighted to autograph one for you! I’d better start working on my signature πŸ™‚

  6. Go for it Ari! There is room for books and of course you can make room if you decide how exactly your fiction and your perfume writings should be balanced. I would love to share thoughts with you on this. Go Ari, Go Ari, Go Ari, Gooooooooo!

  7. I didn’t comment on this when it was written, Arielle, because I couldn’t think of anything at the moment. But now I have!

    I love reading posthumously-published diaries. I do feel terrible for the diary-writers, who likely would roll over in their graves if they knew I was reading their secret thoughts, but there you have it.

    So for me, I’d love a coming-of-age fictional diary featuring a timeline of scents worn by the main character as she goes through different stages of her life, beginning with her first memories of her mother, grandmother, or father (and their signature scents), where her love of scent is born. I’m thinking of her first kiss, her first broken heart, her first job, and so on!

    I’d also be interested in a book of perfume memories from the perfume reviewers and bloggers in our circles on Twitter. That’d be fascinating, and think of all the push you’d get online.

    ~Michelle for Primal Mist perfumes

  8. Please answer the quiz:

    are you so skilled and talented as it seems -an in addition you’re young-??
    a) Yes
    are you focusing your interests in… Perfume??
    a) Yes
    Do you think I’m enjoying reading (in a foreign language to me) anything you write -I think at this point perfume it’s just as an excuse- because you’re so funny & kind of a weird??
    a) Yes
    are you in the land of the Master E.A.Poe??
    a) Yes
    are you intending to write short stories….???!!!
    a) Well yes!
    Creative fiction/nonfiction ones??
    a) Whatever be

    Congratulations!! You are ravishingly intriguing and everything you’d do it looks so awesomely promising haha! πŸ˜‰ Seriously you are the best candidate for the role, genuinely the one that scares mediocre people.

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