January 18th, 2013

Writing: A Playlist of Aromas

After listening to the amazing playlist Jaye Robin Brown created for her upcoming debut Sing to the Wind, I was inspired to start working on one.

I’ve been playing on Groveshark and making some headway. My problem is--I use music to brainstorm, but write in silence.

However, I do stimulate a different sense when I write. Smell.

Yeah, I know loads of people don’t like scented candles and other products. For me, they not only get me in the mood for writing a specific scene, but also reusing a smell can take me back to the same mood when I revise the same scene. 

I’m not going to pretend to be an aromatherapy practitioner. I chose scents purely by how they effect me and what memories they bring to my mind.  I also use live plants like hyacinths and garden flowers like lily of the valley when they are in season.

At any rate, here’s my playlist of aromas.  You’ll notice there are some repeats—that’s because they are tried and true, at least for me.


Moonhill (YA gothic fantasy which is with my agent right now)

Sandlewood oil in burner (mysterious/fantastic scenes)

Ripe Raspberry candle (sentimental scenes)

Rose/Jasmine oil in burner (dreamy/romantic/mysterious)

Orange clove candle or oil (mysterious and high energy scenes)

Peppermint oil—(hot writing, action or emotional scenes)

Red Bandana (YA cotemporary suspense and my current WIP)

Cinnamon candle (neighborhood scenes)

Lilac candle or oil (memory/desire scenes)

Strawberry kiwi candle (action and romance)

Peppermint oil (hot writing, action or emotional scenes)

Orange clove candle or oil (mysterious and high energy scenes)

Vanilla candle (comfort scenes/homey/emotional)

So what do you guys use to stimulate your senses when you write? Music, aromas or something else?