I recently wrote a poem ‘A Palace’ for Penning Perfumes – a project set up by poet Claire Trevien and Odette Toilette which explores the connections between poetry and scent. After a visit to Les Senteurs in West London, poets were each given a perfume in a blank atomiser and asked to respond to the perfume in poetry. After writing our poems we discovered the names and ideas behind the perfumes. Mine was ‘Incense Extrême‘ by Andy Tauer, which is meant to smell like a night in the desert. Interestingly I responded, without knowing this detail, with a poem that takes place in a tent in the desert – albeit in the middle of the day.
In another project strand, perfumers made scents in response to poems. A series of events and a mini-anthology has come out of Penning Perfumes. ‘A Palace’ is included in this pamphlet – which you can buy from the website. Please visit http://penningperfumes.tumblr.com to read more about the poems and the perfumes.