I’m going to be a rebel this week and I don’t want to talk specifically about romance in the books I read, because if I do, it’s going to end on a lengthly rant on love triangles and I’m already done that at least once.
On a related vein, I got thinking about Amortentia, which is a love potion from the Harry Potter series. The description, from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince:
“It’s Amortentia! It’s the most powerful love potion in the world!”
“Quite right! You recognized it, I suppose, by its distinctive mother-of-pearl sheen?”
“And the steam rising in characteristic spirals,” said Hermione enthusiastically, “and it’s supposed to smell differently to each of us, according to what attracts us, and I can smell freshly mown grass and new parchment and-“
But she turned slightly pink and did not complete the sentence.”
For those of you who, like me, ship Ron/Hermione hard, Rowling later revealed in an interview that third aroma was Ron’s hair.
So I was thinking about love potions and trying to come up with a topic, and it inspired me to think about some of the books I adore and if a love potion like Amortentia led me to them, what would the three distinct aromas be?
So, as follows, ten of my favorite books and their love potion scents:
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
A joyous summer barbecue, musty green velvet, and scotch.
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
Honeyed mead, a strong river, and blood.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K.Rowling
Butterbeer, broomstick polish, and wet dog.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Lamb stew, wood smoke, and primrose.
The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory
Sweat, a fair England summer in the country, and stiff silk.
Feed by M.T. Anderson
Raw beef, hospitals, and pollution.
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Cake, salty tears, and tea.
The Gunslinger by Stephen King
Dry heat, campfires, and a well-done burger (no bun).
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
Pea soup, old books, and wet paint.
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Starched linen, hairspray, and Minnie’s chocolate cream pie.
So, as it turns out, most of my favorite books would not smell particularly good if they were Amortentia! Fortunately, they are not, and they all smell like paper and ink, and we get to fall in love with them by their beautiful covers and the words inside.
Still, I’m curious…
If your stories were a love potion and smelled of three things, what would they smell like? There’s no right or wrong answer, just what seems right to you.