The Scent of a Man

    Scratch and sniff? I wish!

    Take a moment to imagine Marc Hunter. Six-feet-four of alpha male, 200 solid, muscular pounds, green eyes. If you nuzzled against Marc's chest, how would he smell? What scent would his skin exude? How would his natural animal scent make you feel?

    The answer to that question is coming soon.

    I am beyond myself with excitement to announce that I am collaborating with Dawn Spencer Hurwitz of Parfume des Beaux Arts in the creation of perfumes that represent the characters of Sophie Alton — and my favorite convicted murderer — Marc Hunter.

    Dawn and I met when I went in search of ambergris. I've always had a sensitive nose — a boon and a bane — and wanted to know what ambergris smells like. This was related to an erotic romance that I may or may not be writing. I found her via Google, and was thrilled to know that a real perfumer — as opposed to a stink scientist — lived in my town.

    I discovered that, though I hadn't heard of Dawn, the editors at Oprah magazine had. So had an A-list of Hollywood celebrities who wear her hand-crafted scents, not to mention a host of people on both coasts and in Europe. I visited the studio and was deeply impressed by her creativity and the magic that goes into creating a true perfume.

    Dawn uses mostly natural essenses and makes her perfumes drop by drop just as European parfumers did two hundred years ago. She was recently invited to speak at the Denver Art Museum in connection with their ongoing exhibit of treasures from the Louvre. There, she talked about the kinds of scents that 18th century Frenchmen and woman might have worn, unveiling perfumes she'd created for Marie Antoinette and Madame du Pompadour.

    Needless to say, I sniffed myself silly at her studio, and we started talking about ways that we might work together. This afternoon, we sorted through some ideas and decided to collaborate on scents for Sophie and Marc. Depending on how this goes, we might develop scents for all my characters.

    Yes, Aimee, Julian, too. And, no, Boadicea, I won't forget Iain.

    How do you bottle raw, sexy Alpha Male? If anyone knows, it's Dawn.

    I've been wearing some of her scents lately and loving them. Typically I don't wear perfume because it's so powerful that I gag. A woman will step out of an elevator or walk past me on the street, and I choke at the toxic fumes wafting off her skin. But because Dawn uses real oils and not chemicals created in a lab, her perfumes are much more subtle — and very sexy. I also bought some essenses from her — ambergris and Arabian musk — which I play with, too.

    So far, my faves are "Seduction" and "Lili." When I first wore "Seduction," I kept waking up at night thinking, "What's that wonderful smell?" It was my wrist. LOL! I started wearing "Lili" recently. She described "Lili" as being a young woman in Paris in the springtime. All I know is that it's very sweet and innocently sexy. I also wear the Arabian musk. For some reason, Arabian musk, which I know now is one of four "animal" scents, drives me bonkers. I swear, I could huff it all day long. At any rate, I love her scents.

    The cool thing is that Dawn makes perfumes that everyone can afford. Just because Cher is one of her customers (no kidding!) doesn't mean I can't be, too.

    Go poke around on her website...

    Or read my article about her online...

    In the meantime, Dawn is reading an ARC of Unlawful Contact, and I'm working on Untamed. (No, really, I am. Honest.)

    I hope everyone is ready for a relaxing weekend!


    I just learned that Benjy, my younger son, is a FINALIST for an all-expenses-paid four-year scholarship to Yale! Now I want to drink instead of write. LOL! Woohoo! Of course, that doesn't mean he'll get it, but it's still a wonderful thing to make the final cut.

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