Happy Thursday, RG2E Peeps!
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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