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British Poets and Perfumers Team Up
Earlier this month, poets across the pond gathered to celebrate a particularly redolent muse: perfume. London fragrance aficionado Odette Toilette (née Lizzie Ostrom) and poet Claire Trevien organized a monthly meeting of poets and perfumers called Scratch + Sniff, where mystery fragrances inspire verse and vice versa. The group’s new anthology, “Penning Perfumes,” was launched at their most recent reading. Faye Lipson of the Guardian reports:
The experience was quite overwhelming. Smells swirling around the room were simultaneously characterised within language – soap and parma violets morphed into an urban pixie, orange blossom notes became fruity pillow-talk, and liquorice coloured the sky a deep maroon…
Experiencing scents and words at the same time led to a level of rapt concentration in the audience that I’ve rarely seen at other events. Perhaps this is because the Penning Perfumes project reminds us that smell is a democratic sense: everyone can have an imaginative response to scent. It can be highly cerebral, but it does not have to be. It goes all the way from an expensive bottle of perfume to the free-for-all of everyday odours.
Go to the original article for a taste—or rather, a sniff—of the work included in “Penning Perfumes.”