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  1. #1

    Default The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    So, here's the thread!

    The plan is to pick a book, read it together, and discuss it within a fragrance-oriented framework. We would probably focus on the main character, but other characters could certainly be included. Coumarin has suggested that we could make this a series focusing on different eras and their corresponding perfumes, ie. modern novel = modern perfume, period novel = fragrances from that period. This could be quite interesting, and perhaps lend a little structure to our discussions.

    So far everyone seems interested in starting with Jean Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea. Do we have a concensus, or should we keep looking?

    We'd like to give everyone enough time to acquire the book. Is a month too long, too short?

    We could log in weekly, or every second week (or whenever we want, for that matter) for our discussions. Also, I believe we have a chat feature on this site. Would it be fun to set a time and all meet there for our discussions? Old time book club in cyberspace.

    Everyone is welcome to join in. The parameters haven't been solidly set yet, so feel free to make suggestions. The point is to keep it relaxed and fun. It shouldn't be like homework!

    Cheers!

    Here are some suggestions, aside from WSS:

    Bonjour Tristesse - Francoise Sagan from Zibeline

    The Devil Wears Prada - Lauren Weisberger
    Special Topics in Calamity Physics - Marisha Pessl
    Suite Francaise - Irene Nemirovsky
    Liars and Saints - Maile Meloy all from coumarin

    Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
    Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
    Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier all from Twolf

    The Lady and the Unicorn - Tracy Chevalier
    Chanel and Her World - the Biography of Coco Chanel - Edmonde Charles Roux all from mochi227

    The Red Tent - Anita Diamant from Shycat
    Last edited by pellen; 11th January 2007 at 02:58 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    I see, thanks to the all-knowing internet, that my local library has this on the shelf.

    As for a sticky, Tigs will probably catch this, but just send a PM to her in case. (Likewise, the new layering challenge is eminently sticky-worthy.)

    I've never been in a book club before, but a month seems reasonable length of time.
    In a world where 6 million people are added each month, every landscape matters.

  3. #3

    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    Thanks for suggesting and organizing this, Pellen -- just ordered my copy, and I'll meet you all back here the first week of February!

  4. #4

    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    Wide Sargasso Sea! The story of Antoinette Rochester is a great choice for a book club....count me in!


    May I humbly suggest a novel for another month, sometime or other?

    Francoise Sagan's Bonjour Tristesse. The three female characters in that book are a diverse lot and choosing scents would be great fun. Plus it's a wonderful short work.

  5. #5

    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    Count this bibliophile in!!!
    GREAT IDEA
    "Like a lobster with a pearl in its claw, the beet held the jasmine firmly without crushing or obscuring it. Beet lifted jasmine, the way a bullnecked partner lifts a ballerina, and the pair came on stage on citron's fluty cue. As if jasmine were a collection of beautiful paintings, beet hung it in the galleries of the nose, insured it against fire or theft, threw a party to celebrate it. Citron mailed the invitations." Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins p. 189

    What I am loving right now: Shalimar vintage extrait, Chanel Bois des Iles, Chanel no. 22, Le Labo Iris 39, Guerlain Iris Ganache

  6. #6

    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    oh yay! this is a great book and perfect for the fragrance-minded. once i dig out my copy, please count me in too! :wave:
    Seeking: woods patchouli fresh tuberose


  7. #7

    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    Looking forward to it. Using the chat feature of the site to do our book club talks would be great as we could all be there together in real time
    Beauty is but the sensible image of the Infinite.
    Like truth and justice it lives within us; like virtue and the moral law it is a companion of the soul.
    -George Bancroft {1800-1891 American Historian}

    =

    current favorites:
    Balmain Jolie Madame, Serge Lutens Muscs Kublai Khan
    =

  8. #8

    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    I love this idea! I'm in, as long as my reading assignments for school don't completely dominate the hours I can devote to books. And I'm a bit ashamed to say I don't think I've even heard of the first selection, so it'll be fun going in not knowing what to expect!

  9. #9

    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    Another bibliophile overhere. I'm in!!
    Some books are undeservedly forgotten, none are undeservedly remembered - W.H. Auden

  10. #10

    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    Count me in as well! The film based on the book was shown on British t.v.
    last year(2006), as was Jane Eyre. Look forward to reading it with you all after I've finished "Perfume" by Susskind.

  11. #11

    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    Hi Ladies!

    It looks like things are getting ready to roll here!

    Twolf has suggested that we set our meetings for a weekend day in mid-month. How about the second Saturday? This coming Saturday would be too soon, of course, but we could start next month. That would give everyone time to get the book and start reading.

    So far, everyone seems to be happy to start with Wide Sargasso Sea. Shall we go with that, or are there some dissenters? PM me with your "vote" so I can keep track.

    There have also been some good suggestions of other books to read. I will post them as an edit in my post in our thread. That way they will be easy to find and we can keep adding them as they come in.\

    Also, I still like the idea of holding our meeting in the chat room, so that we can do it in real time. I will ask tigrushka about how to go about that (I think we can set up a special "room"). However, I know that some of us may not be able to attend at a set time, so we'll keep the thread open for comments coming in at any time.

    I am really looking forward to this! Keep all your great suggestions coming in!

    Patricia
    Another belief of mine; that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise.

    Margaret Atwood

  12. #12

    TaoLady's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    Ordered my Sargasso Sea from Amazon and am set to start on February 10th - second Saturday in February? :bounce:

    By the way - the suggestion of She was a sort of joke. A highly fanciful and somewhat lurid tale about a jungle goddess (hear that ladies - GODDESS!) that may be out of print. Less existential than Bonjour Tristesse however!

    Thanks Pellen!
    "The world is ruled by letting things take their course. It cannot be ruled by interfering." Lao Tze

  13. #13

    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    I'm over the moon about this idea. Here are my suggestions:

    Cheri or The Vagabond or Break of Day - all by Colette

    The Fig Eater by Jody Shields

    Women in Love by D.H. Lawrence

    Other Voices, Other Rooms by Truman Capote

    The Crimson Petal and the White by Michael Faber (features an evil Victorian perfume magnate!)

    I think I'll stop myself there for now. But I am excited about Wide Sargasso Sea for our first meeting.


    Favorite Notes:
    Rose, Apricot, Violet, Leather, Iris, Blackberry, Saffron, Musk, Incense

  14. #14

    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    Please count me in!

  15. #15

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    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    Count me kinda in, kinda out. The Wide Sargasso sea sounded too depressing, and although I intended to buy it, when actually at Borders I just bought a copy of Jane Erye instead.


    I recommend "The Red Tent." I don't remember who wrote it, but I read it several years ago and remember it being good. I gave it to a friend of mine to read and she liked so much so asked if she could pass it to another friend. I was kept updated for a couple more passes, but then the copy got outside my little community and I lost it. It was popular.

    It gives voice to a woman briefly mentioned in the Bible, like in one verse or something, and builds a whole story about what her life could have been like. I envision wearing roses and lotus, frankincense and myrrhe, leather and ouds.
    Last edited by Shycat; 9th January 2007 at 11:30 PM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    Quote Originally Posted by Shycat
    I recommend "The Red Tent." I don't remember who wrote it, but I read it several years ago and remember it being good. I gave it to a friend of mine to read and she liked so much so asked if she could pass it to another friend. I was kept updated for a couple more passes, but then the copy got outside my little community and I lost it. It was popular.

    It gives voice to a woman briefly mentioned in the Bible, like in one verse or something, and builds a whole story about what her life could have been like. I envision wearing roses and lotus, frankincense and myrrhe, leather and ouds.
    The Red Tent is by Anita Diamant. I agree - it's a tremendous read. It's about Dinah (DEE-na), a woman in the Hebrew Bible who is "raped" ,thus her brothers commit brutal revenge...or so that's how the story has been told. It's utterly fascinating to read this story from a woman's point of view as both author and narrator's voice!

  17. #17

    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    I am planning on going on a sniffing excursion today so I'll try to pick up a copy of Sargasso Sea.

    This sounds like fun!

  18. #18

    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    The Wide Sargasso Sea is a lovely idea! I'd also suggest reading Jane Eyre as the relation between the two is so interesting.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    I would love to participate in this also. Books + Perfume = moondeva heaven!

    A few suggestions for good perfume / literature discussions:

    Jitterbug Perfume - Tom Robbins
    The Handmaiden's Tale - Margaret Atwood
    Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
    Othello - William Shakespeare
    The Phantom of the Opera - Gaston Leroux
    Queen of the Damned - Anne Rice
    The White Boy Shuffle - Paul Beatty


    Favourite (Winter) Crazy Combos

    Tabu + Orange Blossom * Hermes Rouge + Bellodgia* Voleur du Roses+ Rose Ispahan * Rasa Extreme + Paris * Wood Coffee + Cafe Noir *

  20. #20

    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    I've recently read Cheri (Colette) & Bonjour Tristesse & think both would lend themselves very well to a perfume/literary discussion.

    Could I also suggest 'Pride & Prejudice' - so many different characters, I'm already trying to imagine which perfume would represent each one best.

    'Chocolat' by Joanne Harris is a very evocative story. The book is so much more detailed than the film.
    Last edited by Pale_Empress; 16th January 2007 at 06:48 PM.

  21. #21

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    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    OK - here I am - "Staying in the NOW"....Miz Pellen, my Sargasso Sea has arrived :bounce: and I want to start reading!!

    Or do I wait until second Saturday in February - the 10th - and we all start reading together? Or do we get assigned chapters-per-week and be trying out frags to go with?

    "Needing Direction in SC"
    "The world is ruled by letting things take their course. It cannot be ruled by interfering." Lao Tze

  22. #22

    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    Quote Originally Posted by Taolady
    Or do I wait until second Saturday in February - the 10th - and we all start reading together? Or do we get assigned chapters-per-week and be trying out frags to go with?
    I think you should suit yourself, as I don't think we have a specific plan. I read it in 2 sittings over the weekend, and I plan to go back and take the leisurely chapter-at-a-time approach as we get into posting. I needed time to crib notes on what sorts of samples to stock up on as my collection is pretty limited so far, especially where more exotic scents go. Glad you're in!

  23. #23

    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    Yep, I second coumarin. Do it your way, baby! The second Sat. in Feb. we'll all check in and do some discussin', so it's probably a good idea to start reading now, but there will be no specific assigning of chapters. Let's all just try to get a couple of chapters in before then so that we have something to discuss.
    I think that we've decided to go with WSS for this session, but those of you with suggestions keep them coming; we'll need to come up with something else soon, too.
    I'll try to think up some questions to think about while reading the book and anybody else that has some ideas for questions please post them!
    Another belief of mine; that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise.

    Margaret Atwood

  24. #24

    TaoLady's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    Quote Originally Posted by pellen
    Yep, I second coumarin. Do it your way, baby! The second Sat. in Feb. we'll all check in and do some discussin', so it's probably a good idea to start reading now, but there will be no specific assigning of chapters. Let's all just try to get a couple of chapters in before then so that we have something to discuss.
    I think that we've decided to go with WSS for this session, but those of you with suggestions keep them coming; we'll need to come up with something else soon, too.
    I'll try to think up some questions to think about while reading the book and anybody else that has some ideas for questions please post them!
    Copy that!

    (Have to admit I crept in even before I got your reply, Pellen. The writing is as spare and evocative as I remember. This is terrific choice, I think, for springboarding a literary/fragrance roundtable!! Plan on bringing home Glorioso and Casablanca lilies - maybe some jungle sounds - to get in the mood! Just got through sampling Datura Noir for Lutens week - thanks to a BNer have discovered that Datura [Jimson Weed!!] is an hallucinatory and used in Obeah to create zombies!. Oooooooh!!! )
    "The world is ruled by letting things take their course. It cannot be ruled by interfering." Lao Tze

  25. #25

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    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    I finished Jane Erye, and now I feel more like The Wide Sargasso Sea. Besides which, I failed so miserably at Lutens week I feel I must participate in something according to plan or feel like a outcast!

  26. #26

    Talking Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    Please count me in........ah....books and perfume!!
    Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.
    Anais Nin

  27. #27

    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    I should be able to get my hands on Wide Sargasso Sea and would love to join you guys. I'll be flying to NYC on the second Saturday of Feb. but it would still be fun to chat about the book. I always return to Jane Eyre, so I am truly hoping for an interesting read in WSS.

    This site may be useful as a reference as it is a full and unabridged copy of Jane Eyre:

    literature.org/authors/bronte-charlotte/jane-eyre/

    (sorry for lack of a link, I do not have enough posts to paste a url)

  28. #28
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    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    America's Public Broadcasting is beginning to air a new Masterpiece Theatre rendering of Jane Eyre on Jan. 21 & 28. Details here.
    In a world where 6 million people are added each month, every landscape matters.

  29. #29

    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    I'm really glad that many of you are also looking into Jane Eyre. While Wide Sargasso Sea is a book that certainly can stand on it's own, it was written in response to Jane Eyre and knowledge of Charlotte Bronte's work adds an important level of depth to the novel.
    Welcome to all the new people that have shown interest in this project. It's great to have more people on board.
    I have been thinking that the title of this thread is a little exclusive sounding; I certainly would enjoy to have a few men on board! Perhaps I should post an invitation on the MFD?
    Another belief of mine; that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise.

    Margaret Atwood

  30. #30

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    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    Quote Originally Posted by Quarry
    America's Public Broadcasting is beginning to air a new Masterpiece Theatre rendering of Jane Eyre on Jan. 21 & 28. Details here.

    Oh! Wonderful! What perfect timing, indeed! <marks callendar with bright marker>

  31. #31

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    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    Quote Originally Posted by pellen
    I have been thinking that the title of this thread is a little exclusive sounding; I certainly would enjoy to have a few men on board! Perhaps I should post an invitation on the MFD?
    That's a good idea-- "Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club seeks good smellin' men, for purpose of adding spice."

  32. #32

    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    ROFLOL and totally agree with Shycat!

  33. #33

    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    Okay, I'll invite the men! And I'm stealing your line, Shycat.
    Another belief of mine; that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise.

    Margaret Atwood

  34. #34
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    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    Quote Originally Posted by Taolady
    snip...
    Just got through sampling Datura Noir for Lutens week - thanks to a BNer have discovered that Datura [Jimson Weed!!] is an hallucinatory and used in Obeah to create zombies!. Oooooooh!!! )
    Carlos Casteneda smoked or took Datura and ate cactus buttons and wrote several books about it. Supposedly he befriended an old wise American indian who described a lot of out of body experiences. "The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge " was the first book in a series and appeared on the NYTimes best seller non-fiction list. All of his books are now considered fiction.

    below is snipped from wikipedia

    "Perhaps the most famous account of jimsonweed intoxication is given in The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge by Carlos Castaneda. The narrator records several experiences with the subtly addictive "devil's weed", which his mentor describes as having power similar to that of a woman:"

    and just as importantly:
    "# The guitarist Buckethead named a song "Datura" in his album "Electric Tears"."
    Last edited by fredricktoo; 22nd January 2007 at 05:46 PM.

  35. #35

    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    Quote Originally Posted by ripemango
    This site may be useful as a reference as it is a full and unabridged copy of Jane Eyre: http://www.literature.org/authors/br...tte/jane-eyre/
    Thanks for posting this. I wanted to reread it and couldn't find my copy -- problem solved!

  36. #36

    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    Just bought Wide Saragossa Sea this morning and plan

    to read it whilst I am away next week in France.

    Was surprised how THIN the book was!! Mind you i have just been re-reading

    A Suitable Boy and that's super thick!

    Actually it's a great read and full of poetic lines and references

    to the colours, smells and sights of India. Maybe I could suggest you read

    that once we are up and running.

  37. #37

    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    Yay for February 10th! Oh my...I just realized I will be in Boston the night before. I hope to be back at my computer before we convene.

    Regardless, I will be going to the bookstore to get my WSS today!

    I'm really looking forward to this.
    Beauty is but the sensible image of the Infinite.
    Like truth and justice it lives within us; like virtue and the moral law it is a companion of the soul.
    -George Bancroft {1800-1891 American Historian}

    =

    current favorites:
    Balmain Jolie Madame, Serge Lutens Muscs Kublai Khan
    =

  38. #38

    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    I've been slow to respond to this thread, but will try to jump in.
    I have been reading the Crimson Petal and the White by Michael Faber.
    But now you are all making me want to re read Jane Eyre before jumping into the Wide Sargasso Sea.

    here is a suggestion for a future book, too...

    My Mortal Enemy by Willa Cather
    "Like a lobster with a pearl in its claw, the beet held the jasmine firmly without crushing or obscuring it. Beet lifted jasmine, the way a bullnecked partner lifts a ballerina, and the pair came on stage on citron's fluty cue. As if jasmine were a collection of beautiful paintings, beet hung it in the galleries of the nose, insured it against fire or theft, threw a party to celebrate it. Citron mailed the invitations." Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins p. 189

    What I am loving right now: Shalimar vintage extrait, Chanel Bois des Iles, Chanel no. 22, Le Labo Iris 39, Guerlain Iris Ganache

  39. #39

    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    Another suggestion (and we haven't even started our first club yet!) is Lolita by Vladimir Nabakov. So many colorful (and I'd imagine, well-scented) characters in that one! Men's scents, women's scents, children's scents...
    Beauty is but the sensible image of the Infinite.
    Like truth and justice it lives within us; like virtue and the moral law it is a companion of the soul.
    -George Bancroft {1800-1891 American Historian}

    =

    current favorites:
    Balmain Jolie Madame, Serge Lutens Muscs Kublai Khan
    =

  40. #40

    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    Hi there, I hear you're lookin' for sweet scented males that read? I'm in!

    I'll try and grab a copy of Wide Sargasso Sea from the library and get back to you in Feb.

    May I make a suggestion myself?

    "Great Apes" by Will Self. About an artist who wakes up one day to find that his partner - and indeed, the rest of the world - has/have turned into apes. He spends the rest of the novel adjusting to his "new" life accordingly, with the help of a prominent psychologist ape. Very funny.

    Think of it as an intellectual twist on the whole "Planet of the Apes" scenario.

    Just putting the idea out there...

    QE

  41. #41

    TaoLady's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    Quote Originally Posted by fredricktoo
    Carlos Casteneda smoked or took Datura and ate cactus buttons and wrote several books about it. Supposedly he befriended an old wise American indian who described a lot of out of body experiences. "The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge " was the first book in a series and appeared on the NYTimes best seller non-fiction list. All of his books are now considered fiction.

    below is snipped from wikipedia

    "Perhaps the most famous account of jimsonweed intoxication is given in The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge by Carlos Castaneda. The narrator records several experiences with the subtly addictive "devil's weed", which his mentor describes as having power similar to that of a woman:"

    and just as importantly:
    "# The guitarist Buckethead named a song "Datura" in his album "Electric Tears"."
    Thanks, fella, for this trip back in time! (KNEW there was a reason I've become addicted to DN!!!):bounce:

    Someday we can have a discussion/argument/imbroglio about where non-fiction leaves off and fiction begins!
    "The world is ruled by letting things take their course. It cannot be ruled by interfering." Lao Tze

  42. #42

    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    Just watched the conclusion of Masterpiece Theatre's Jane Eyre.
    Warming up for our scented reading.
    "Like a lobster with a pearl in its claw, the beet held the jasmine firmly without crushing or obscuring it. Beet lifted jasmine, the way a bullnecked partner lifts a ballerina, and the pair came on stage on citron's fluty cue. As if jasmine were a collection of beautiful paintings, beet hung it in the galleries of the nose, insured it against fire or theft, threw a party to celebrate it. Citron mailed the invitations." Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins p. 189

    What I am loving right now: Shalimar vintage extrait, Chanel Bois des Iles, Chanel no. 22, Le Labo Iris 39, Guerlain Iris Ganache

  43. #43

    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    Glad to see people are still interested in this event. Welcome to all the new interested folks. I can't wait to get to know everyone a little better through our discussions.

    A special "welcome back!" to Taolady! I've missed your posts throughout the forum.

    And also thanks to everyone for continueing to post your ideas. Now we need to think of some specific questions to focus on in our readings. I've just revisited the book myself, and so far haven't anything solid I'd like to ask, but if anything piques your interest and you'd like to look deeper into it with us, let us know.

    Another belief of mine; that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise.

    Margaret Atwood

  44. #44

    TaoLady's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    Quote Originally Posted by pellen
    Glad to see people are still interested in this event. Welcome to all the new interested folks. I can't wait to get to know everyone a little better through our discussions.

    A special "welcome back!" to Taolady! I've missed your posts throughout the forum.

    And also thanks to everyone for continueing to post your ideas. Now we need to think of some specific questions to focus on in our readings. I've just revisited the book myself, and so far haven't anything solid I'd like to ask, but if anything piques your interest and you'd like to look deeper into it with us, let us know.

    Have to confess that I re-read and RE-read the book on vakay in the hills of NC - an eerie experience! Snow falling all around and in my mind I'm hot and sweaty in Jamaica!

    Anyway, I started dog-earing pages where Rhys specifically mentions scent and half the book - it seems - was dog eared! Some instances were other-sense - like taste - and all gave rise to "what frag does that make me think of/yearn for?

    These are obvious - others will go deeper I'm sure.

    CAN'T WAIT for Feb 10th! (Obviously HAVEN'T!!)
    "The world is ruled by letting things take their course. It cannot be ruled by interfering." Lao Tze

  45. #45

    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    Um... would you believe there are only three (!) copies of Wide Sargasso Sea in all the Brisbane City Council Libraries - and they're all on loan!

    This is such a backwater town, I can't believe it. And if you think the libraries are bad, don't get me started on availability and/or selections of fragrances.

    AND it's currently a stinking hot summer - 31 - 35 degrees c, with up to 80% humidity!

    Why am I living here?

  46. #46

    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    We could also focus on the role that the sense of smell plays in the book. Rhys, it seems, loved perfume - she mentioned it frequently in her other novels, and seems to have had a particular fondness for L'Heure Bleue, which got shout-outs in two separate books. But Antoinette mentions scent so often in WSS - everything from the smell of a bully's hair to the vanilla scent used by a loved one - that it seems to be a distinctive feature of her "vision." And Rochester doesn't like scent at all. This makes me wonder about the symbolism of scent, and what it means in terms of the difference between the two characters.

    In terms of scent, I love the Datura Noir rec, but I also think that a good vetiver scent would be useful. Vetiver is widely grown in the Caribbean, and is used to prevent the soil from washing out and becoming infertile, so the smell would have been very much a part of the scenery. Also, in countries where vetiver is grown, it's often braided into mats and soaked in water; the breeze that blows past the damp mats cools and perfumes the home. I think of this particularly in relation to Christophine's home - she seems like the sort of woman who would know how to make the best out of the things that grow around her - but I also think the coolness and gentle scent may have been welcomed in the Rochesters' honeymoon house.


    Favorite Notes:
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  47. #47

    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    Quote Originally Posted by djuna
    We could also focus on the role that the sense of smell plays in the book. Rhys, it seems, loved perfume - she mentioned it frequently in her other novels, and seems to have had a particular fondness for L'Heure Bleue, which got shout-outs in two separate books. But Antoinette mentions scent so often in WSS - everything from the smell of a bully's hair to the vanilla scent used by a loved one - that it seems to be a distinctive feature of her "vision." And Rochester doesn't like scent at all. This makes me wonder about the symbolism of scent, and what it means in terms of the difference between the two characters.

    In terms of scent, I love the Datura Noir rec, but I also think that a good vetiver scent would be useful. Vetiver is widely grown in the Caribbean, and is used to prevent the soil from washing out and becoming infertile, so the smell would have been very much a part of the scenery....
    Great post djuna! You're right that there is a thread of dark green scents throughout the plot, and vetiver sounds perfect for that. I was struck by the way she used the scent of frangipanni in the opening scene, and then subtley references that experience with the frangipanni wreaths in the honeymoon house. I think bamboo and moss also becomes a signifiers. I'll have to go back and look for similar connections in her mentions of mango, ferns, orchids, etc.

  48. #48

    TaoLady's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    Quote Originally Posted by QuietEarth
    Um... would you believe there are only three (!) copies of Wide Sargasso Sea in all the Brisbane City Council Libraries - and they're all on loan!

    This is such a backwater town, I can't believe it. And if you think the libraries are bad, don't get me started on availability and/or selections of fragrances.

    AND it's currently a stinking hot summer - 31 - 35 degrees c, with up to 80% humidity!

    Why am I living here?
    Try Amazon.com - they had several used copies when I bought mine. Might could airmail to you!! Worth a try!!
    "The world is ruled by letting things take their course. It cannot be ruled by interfering." Lao Tze

  49. #49

    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    A book club is such a terrific idea! I would love to participate, and will certainly try to further down the track. Unfortunately at the moment I am half way through writing a book myself and have very little time. But I hope this continues so that I can jump in sometime in the middle of the year.

    best

    Eluard
    There are people to whom the truth of language does not matter they are known as liars.

  50. #50

    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    Quote Originally Posted by djuna
    In terms of scent, I love the Datura Noir rec, but I also think that a good vetiver scent would be useful. Vetiver is widely grown in the Caribbean, and is used to prevent the soil from washing out and becoming infertile, so the smell would have been very much a part of the scenery. Also, in countries where vetiver is grown, it's often braided into mats and soaked in water; the breeze that blows past the damp mats cools and perfumes the home. I think of this particularly in relation to Christophine's home - she seems like the sort of woman who would know how to make the best out of the things that grow around her - but I also think the coolness and gentle scent may have been welcomed in the Rochesters' honeymoon house.
    Yes, this braiding into mats and using them as roll up blinds is how vetiver is used in India. There was a strong Indian settlement in the Carribean (witness V.S. Naipaul) and so it probably spread from their immigrant culture. (I'm sure this is saying something, though, that everyone knows.)
    There are people to whom the truth of language does not matter they are known as liars.

  51. #51

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    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    Quote Originally Posted by Eluard
    Yes, this braiding into mats and using them as roll up blinds is how vetiver is used in India. There was a strong Indian settlement in the Carribean (witness V.S. Naipaul) and so it probably spread from their immigrant culture. (I'm sure this is saying something, though, that everyone knows.).......A book club is such a terrific idea! I would love to participate, and will certainly try to further down the track. Unfortunately at the moment I am half way through writing a book myself and have very little time. But I hope this continues so that I can jump in sometime in the middle of the year.
    Great posts Djuna and Eluard (and good luck with the book E! Let us know when it's in the stalls!) This adds SO MUCH to the mix. Looking forward to Feb 10th with ever increasing intensity!! :bounce:
    "The world is ruled by letting things take their course. It cannot be ruled by interfering." Lao Tze

  52. #52

    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    Thanks Taolady

    If anyone wants to augment their Jane Eyre experience with a movie. I would like to recommend the film by Jacques Tourneur called I Walked with a Zombie (1943). Jacques Tourneur was one of the great directors and you may know him better from his more famous Cat People (1943). But I Walked with a Zombie is a terrific film: a sort of film noir/horror/poetic version of Jane Eyre, full of shadows and hidden secrets. Very atmospheric!
    There are people to whom the truth of language does not matter they are known as liars.

  53. #53

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    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    Quote Originally Posted by Eluard
    ...If anyone wants to augment their Jane Eyre experience with a movie. I would like to recommend the film by Jacques Tourneur called I Walked with a Zombie (1943). Jacques Tourneur was one of the great directors and you may know him better from his more famous Cat People (1943). But I Walked with a Zombie is a terrific film: a sort of film noir/horror/poetic version of Jane Eyre, full of shadows and hidden secrets. Very atmospheric!
    Oh wow! I REMEMBER this flick - remember the ethereal blonde heroine, gliding through the shadowy Caribbean night shadowed by a gigantic - equally ethereal - black man, a zombie and her protector. (As I recall) No one made better use of chirascuro than Tourneur and as Eluard says this one is very evocative of the hothouse, spiritually charged island atmosphere. Wonder if Netflix has it. Gotta go check.

    Many thanks to Eluard and Djuna for these great back ground references!! (Is Feb. 10th here yet??!!) :bounce:
    "The world is ruled by letting things take their course. It cannot be ruled by interfering." Lao Tze

  54. #54

    Talking Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    I would love to be a part too...count me in. I started reading Perfume...it was enjoyable. I can't remember why I didn't finish, it could have been it was due back at the library. I will check it out again.
    When I smell good, I feel good! Sounds easy doesn't it? It is...a pleasant scent is great for good moods!!

  55. #55

    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    Quote Originally Posted by Taolady
    Oh wow! I REMEMBER this flick - remember the ethereal blonde heroine, gliding through the shadowy Caribbean night shadowed by a gigantic - equally ethereal - black man, a zombie and her protector. (As I recall) No one made better use of chirascuro than Tourneur and as Eluard says this one is very evocative of the hothouse, spiritually charged island atmosphere. :bounce:
    You're absolutely right, Taolady. And that scene of the heroine running in the cornfield is exactly the one that stuck in my mind for years too. And Tourneur was indeed a master of chiaroscuro he made one of the best film noirs: Out of the Past, with Robert Mitchum.
    There are people to whom the truth of language does not matter they are known as liars.

  56. #56

    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    Wow the post about I Walked With a Zombie really has my interest piqued. Looking very forward to the 10th.
    Beauty is but the sensible image of the Infinite.
    Like truth and justice it lives within us; like virtue and the moral law it is a companion of the soul.
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  57. #57

    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    So what's the plan for Saturday? Are we meeting at a particular time in the chat room? Should we post general impressions? I've done my reading and note-taking, assembled a few relevant samples, and am raring to go!

  58. #58
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    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    I have read The Wild Sargasso Sea and am pretty certain that Parfums Jamaica's Khus Khus EDP would be perfect for dominate backdrop scent (along with suitable florals, and fruit) evoking the mood for many scenes throughout the book (mainly the first two thirds). Even if I could purchase a bottle they don't ship to the UK!! I have a vintage bottle of Benjamin's of Jamaica Khus Khus on it's way but it will not be here in time.

    Luckily, I have most of the other scents that I think will work.

    Favourite (Winter) Crazy Combos

    Tabu + Orange Blossom * Hermes Rouge + Bellodgia* Voleur du Roses+ Rose Ispahan * Rasa Extreme + Paris * Wood Coffee + Cafe Noir *

  59. #59

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    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    ....and I've found a sample of Frangipani....what's the skinny???!!! (pant pant pant)...:bounce:
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    Last edited by TaoLady; 10th February 2007 at 12:48 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    "The world is ruled by letting things take their course. It cannot be ruled by interfering." Lao Tze

  60. #60

    Default Re: The Splendidly Scented Ladies' Book Club

    Well February 10th is finally here! I'm not sure if there is a plan I've missed out on (we're we supposed to chat?) but at any rate, I'm going to dive in and start talking about some of the perfumes that Wide Sargasso Sea reminded me of. These are not what I think the characters would have worn, but scent impressions of the time and place, filtered through my limited collection of scents.

    Chantecaille Frangipane opens as a fresh, green floral and then sweetens with vanilla. The book begins under the frangipani tree where Antoinette found her mother's horse poisoned, aswarm with flies, and decided to say nothing. Frangipani appears again in the bridal wreaths placed on the bed at the honeymoon house, which Rochester steps on, and at the end of the story, when the sight of her red dress makes Antionette recall the smell of frangipani and vetiver. Chantecaille Frangipane is a comfort scent, capturing the sense of Antoinette's innocence, but lacking the dark turn both these scenes take -- I wonder if there is a frangipani scent with chypre and animalic notes that would capture this better?

    Calvin Klein Truth, with bamboo, sapling, vetiver, patchouli and wet woods, is a green scent with a dark, aromatic undercurrent. (I prefer the body oil as the edp can be a little heavy.) The story uses bamboo trees as a harbinger of darkness and menace, most notably the night of the fire that destroyed Coulibri and killed Anionette's brother, and the sense of wetness and woods are woven throughout the story. As Djuna has pointed out, vetiver is also an important frangrance both in the story and in this time and place.

    Tann Rokka Kizu has marine notes, cedar, rosewood, musk and and ylang ylang. Though set in humid woods of cedar, bamboo and flowers, where Antoinette swims in a river rather than the sea, Rhys frequently reminds us that in Jamaica one is never far from the ocean. Kizu combines the salt spray, wet aromatic woods and spicy floral notes of both settings.

    Maitre Perfumeur et Gantier Fraiche Passiflore captures the deep muskiness at the core of a ripe, fresh-picked fruit, the perfume that refrigeration destroys. Though the fragrance is named for passion fruit, it smells almost entirely of rich sweet mango with its undercurrent of natural spiciness. Mangos and mango trees appear often in the book, notably in the departure scene after the wedding, where the couple's luggage is piled under a mango tree in the rain, and throughout their trip.

    Caron En Avion is rich with rose, jasmine and resinous spices, Maitre Perfumeur et Gantier Or des Indes smells of rich spices and exotic woods, and Serge Lutens Un Lys evokes sweet fragrant ginger lillies, and all of these scents are woven throughout the island portion of the narrative. I think Or des Indes was the single scent that capture the book best for me, (even though it's the wrong Indes), but I haven't experienced Parfums Jamaica's Khus Khus -- Moondeva, tell us more about it!

    What perfume would Antoinette have worn? I'm tempted to say something with the exoticism and rich vintage feel of Or des Indes, but then I think the ripe, fresh fruit and florals of the island suit her personality better. A voluptuous rose or jasmine with a hint of something darker, maybe? Perhaps Nahema would suit her.
    Last edited by coumarin; 10th February 2007 at 09:28 PM.

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