Saturday, June 13, 2009

You’ve Read the Novel, Now Smell the Perfume

Alison Flood at the Guardian’s Books Blog spots an interesting scent marketing gambit. 

The old-school perfumists at Floris of London have teamed up with historical romance novelist Marina Fiorato to produce a limited edition perfume named after her new book, The Madonna of the Almonds. They’ll sell you 100 ml for £75.

Here’s the blurb from Amazon UK. (the novel isn’t available yet in the USA).

Young widow Simonetta tries to rebuild her family in 16th century Saronno, Tuscany, following the death of her husband in one of the battles ravaging the land. In pursuit of a means to keep her estate together, she stumbles upon a new drink made by infusing almonds with alcohol. At the same time, she encounters Bernadino, the protege of Leonardo da Vinci. What follows is a glorious story of passion, betrayal, warfare and bravery.
Almonds, alcohol, Saronno—I guess we’re talking about the founding-myth of Amaretto.

Author Fiorato gushed about the experience of having her novel “done” by a perfumer at Floris who

had read the book really closely and had picked out just about every olfactory reference in there.
Ah yes, the kitchen-sink method of perfume formulation. (Hey, why didn’t Fiorato and her agent have Amaretti Di Saronno come up with a promotional cocktail?)

Ms. Flood at the Guardian wonders if this will spur other authors to seek perfume tie-ins. She mentions J.K. Rowling (“Unwashed teenage boy, perhaps, with a whiff of owl droppings.”) but I heard that Rowling’s licensing people discarded “Bossy Boots by Hermione” after the concept tanked in focus group.

UPDATE June 14, 2009

Last fall, MTV blogger Jennifer Vineyard reported that Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab had collaborated with graphic novelist Neil Gaiman to create scents matched to various of his comic books.

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