RG2E Peeps: Let’s Talk Scents and Sensuality with Bestselling Author Joan Reeves

Happy Thursday, RG2E Peeps!

Welcome to The RG2E and/or Welcome Back!

Here’s a superfab fun take on Scents and Sensuality with Bestselling Author Joan Reeves.

Take it away, Joan…



When I first began blogging about 8 years ago, I wrote a post about the best smells in the world. I listed 10 smells that I love. Fresh-mown grass, baking bread, and a clean baby were on the list. Would you believe that simple post has always been one of the most popular posts on my blog,  SlingWords. In fact, it continues to be read all these years later.

Since I’m finishing up my latest romantic comedy that has the science of smell and sex appeal as its information plot, I’ve been engrossed in smell research, one might say. Actually, I’ve always been fascinated by smell. Maybe it’s because I had a mother who wore the most wonderful perfume. Even as a small child, I noticed the way she smelled. When she hugged me, the most wonderful fragrance wafted from her. I can remember sniffing the air and asking her what smelled so good.

I couldn’t pronounce the name of my mother’s perfume then. I can now, but I won’t be purchasing the fragrance anytime soon. You see, Mom’s favorite scent was by Lucien LeLong. The parfum came in a bottle as beautiful as the smell. Recently, I priced it online and was dismayed to discover it was $250.00 for a quarter ounce.

I guess I’ve always had a love affair with fine perfumes and an interest in the science of smell.

Smell is the most primitive of all our senses. We inhale and odor molecules float into our noses, traveling back to the nasal cavity behind the bridge of the the nose. There, those odor molecules get absorbed by the mucosa containing receptor cells on which there are microscopic hairs called cilia. About 5 million of these receptor cells fire impulses to the olfactory bulb, or smell center, in the brain.

If you kill a brain neuron, it won’t re-grow. Neither will cells in the eyes or ears, but you grow new nasal neurons about every month. These neurons wave in the air much like sea anemones. When your olfactory bulb detects something, it signals your cerebral cortex and sends a message straight into your limbic system, that primitive, emotional part of the brain that houses your feelings and your desires.

If a visual stimulation occurs, your brain immediately starts trying to process what you saw. The same thing occurs if you hear something. Your brain goes to work immediately to interpret the sound. That doesn’t happen when you smell something. You don’t need your brain to do anything. What you smell creates an immediate effect that needs no translation, thought, interpretation, or anything. The primitive part of your brain reacts immediately.

This is why you can smell something and immediately be transported to your grandmother’s front porch when she served apple pie on Sunday afternoons when you were a small child. Or maybe you smell Crayons and you’re back in kindergarten. Smell is almost like a time machine. You smell, and bam! You remember an event, and the way you felt during that event. You can see it so clearly. It’s the sharpest, in-focus memory.

In my next romantic comedy, Scents and Sensuality (which I thought I’d have published by the time you read this post, but real life keeps interfering with my plans), the heroine, Amanda Whitfield, is a perfume designer. Now that’s a job I’d like to have! So, of course, I gave it to my heroine. Smell is closely linked to sexual attraction. Scent goes hand in hand with sensuality — thus the title.

Scents and Sensuality is a much expanded and changed version of an older print book, Say Yes, published quite some time ago. The inspiration for the heroine’s occupation was research I’d done, one might say, at my mother’s knee, breathing in the wonderful Lucien LeLong she wore. As an adult, I expanded my research into the science of pheromones, those below-conscious smells we all breathe in without knowing it.

When Amanda explains smell and the science of sex appeal to her Mr. Right, I hope you’ll find it as hilarious — and sexy — as I thought it was when I wrote the scene. Please look for Scents and Sensuality at all major ebook sellers.

In the meantime, I’m giving away 10 copies of Scents and Sensuality as soon as it’s available. Make a comment within 24 hours of this blog post. Then email me — Joan at JoanReeves dot com — to receive your free copy of Scents and Sensuality. In the subject box, put “Real Live Person–Free Book” and give me your preferred ebook seller and your registered email addy. I’ll send you a gift card for the free book as soon as it’s available.


This is fascinating scoop, Joan, and thanks sooo much for sharing it with us!

I’m mesmerized by scents as you are. In fact, I had a Great Aunt, who used an Estee Lauder night cream before bed, and I sooo loved that smell! I would look forward to spending the night with her so I could smell that fabulous cream and try some before she’d tuck me into bed.

Thanks bunches too for Ebook Gifting our fabulous RG2E Peeps! U rock!!!

The Best of RG2E Ereading Wishes — D. D. Scott, RG2E Founder


32 thoughts on “RG2E Peeps: Let’s Talk Scents and Sensuality with Bestselling Author Joan Reeves

  1. Great blog, Joan. I too can smell my mother to this day. Her scent takes me back and makes me feel safe. Even more strong for me is the Old Spice my dad used to wear, because he died when I was 5 and when I smell old spice I immediately think of him.

    • Good morning, Cynthia! When you start reading about the sense of smell, it’s fascinating, but what’s really interesting is what we humans “smell” that have no discernible smell. That’s where the research is amazing.

  2. Great blog, Joan! I know what you mean by the different scents you can smell. I can always tell when someone has cut their lawn or someone is dealing with hay. I can smell the different kinds of lotion that people will use. Some of it smell good while others isn’t something that I would want to smell on me. I think smell is one of our amazing senses and would hate to loose it.

    • Hello, Becky, and thanks. We live in an ocean of scent, and many times what we do is based on unconscious reactions to what we smell. Losing the sense of smell, and some do because of brain trauma, disease, etc., seriously affects one’s ability to taste among other effects.

    • Yes, it’s funny, and sometimes embarrassing. I have a very sensitive nose I guess which is unusual because I’m blue-eyed and dark blond. There are some perfumes that even the slightest whiff makes me physically ill. The mildest reaction is constant sneezing. The worst is feeling as if I’m going to hurl.

    • Thank you! Yes, if you have a cold or allergies where the nose is swollen and you can’t breathe, it affects your ability to smell, taste, and also be sexually receptive. If you’re male, you don’t pick up on a woman’s copulence as easily, and the same is true for female sensing a man’s androstenone.

  3. Great post, Joan! I’ve always been intrigued by the power of fragrance, too. I did a lot of research on it for my humorous romantic mystery called Aphrodisiac that was also a trad print book but is now an ebook. Perfume, sex and the mystical history surrounding fragrance is such a rich and fertile ground for an author. Can’t wait to read Scents and Sensuality!

    • Hi, Alicia! I guess we must be a lot alike. We seem to be interested in the same things at least. *g* Btw, just got another of your “dance” books.

      Hope you like Scents and Sensuality.

  4. Good morning,
    I was attracked to my husband by his scent (cologne).
    To this day that scent takes me back to that first day, first hug, I smile and fall in love all over again!
    WOW I have a silly smile on my face now just thinking about it.
    This is a must read for me. I can’t wait.

    PS I am very sensitive to others needs with regard to scent.
    I never wear perfume in the following places:
    Doctors Office / Health Care environments; Airports; Planes etc,

    • Good morning! Yes, my darling hubby’s aftershave pulled me to him too! He still wears the same scent, and I still find it unbelievably appealing.

      I too avoid perfume in public places. Wish all those places would be declared No Scent Zones.

  5. Hey Joan! I love your cover and the idea of such a scentsual theme is very intriguing. I remember my grandmother’s favorite as well as my mother’s. I keep a bottle of each with my other scents, just to remind me of them. My grandmother loved Yardley’s English Lavendar. She called it “Morning in the Horse Stable” because if it’s grassy, clean fragrance. My mom loved Tabu and the scent of gardenias. Yes, I get a stab of sweet pain when I take a whiff. Thanks for always giving us so much to think about.

    • Hello, JD. Thanks. I mention Tabu in the book. How about that? The hero’s mother wears it. Dana, the company that produced it was founded in the 1940’s. In the 90’s, someone bought them with plans to make Tabu hugely popular again, but that owner died suddenly. Then in 2000, someone bought the company at auction. So Tabu is still being produced.

  6. What a great post! One of my favorites is going to beach and smelling the ocean air and of course babies! By the way the cover of your books it looks like it will be a great read! Enjoy your evening!

  7. D.D., thanks so much for your hospitality. RG2E is such a friendly gathering of authors and readers. A big smooch to all the people who dropped by to visit and who later emailed me.

    I’ll be back on Oct. 11 (I think that’s the date — it’s early and I need more coffee because I’m too tired to get up and look at my day planner.) with THE SWEET SMELL OF SEX APPEAL — everything you may never have known about attracting the opposite sex.

    See you then!

  8. Being a country girl brings a whole different reaction to scent. I love to walk into a clean stable and smell the pine bedding we use for horses. The horses themselves send me into ecstasy of sniffing. The harder we work a horse, the more he sweats, the better he smells.
    Freshly mowned fields, bales of hay waiting to feed the cattle over the winter, even the flocks of snow geese when they land on the pond for a few days rest before heading south again are how I tell the time of year. I don’t need calendars or even a clock. These scents make me open my windows and my heart.

    • Very eloquently put. My dad farmed. There’s a cleanness to the air in rural areas. I notice it immediately since I live in the Houston area. When I get to the country, the air just smells better. After a day in the country, you can smell the different grasses and weeds and trees.

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