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Smells Like Tudor Spirit

16th century Italian gilt pomander
16th century Italian gilt pomander

Ever wanted to smell like an Elizabethan? OK, maybe not literally (eww!), but it was in the sixteenth century that perfume and scented items became popular with the wealthy. If you’ve read The Alchemist of Souls, you may recall Mal’s encounter with Jos Percy – and the loss of an expensive silver pomander!

When my friend and fellow writer Naomi Clark set up an Etsy store for her homemade fragrances and began tweeting about all the lovely essential oils she was buying, that got me wondering what scents my characters would like. Long story short, I met up with Naomi and we collaborated on two fragrances, one for Mal and one for Coby – and they’re now available to buy!

Both are unisex, as befits the gender-bending Elizabethan era, and can be worn as a perfume or used in an oil burner (they’re very Christmassy, too – “Hendricks” smells like posh mince pies, according to my husband!).

Naomi describes them much better than I could, so I’ve cribbed the descriptions from her Etsy page:

Maliverny

Imagine a dusty bar in a London touched with strange magicks and filled with wondrous, dangerous travellers from the New World. Imagine you’re a swordsman tossed into peril and political intrigue against your will…You’re starting to imagine Mal Catlyn’s world…

Maliverny is a tribute to the Elizabethan era, blending together precious woods, incenses, and spices from the far corners of the world. A base of sandalwood and frankincense is topped with warm black pepper and cinnamon. A hint of tobacco ties it all together.

Maliverny at the Common Brimstone shop

Hendricks

Imagine fleeing your homeland and living in disguise amongst men who cannot know your secrets…Imagine finding yourself thrust into a world of magical and political machinations – and the man you want most believes you’re a boy…You’re starting to imagine Coby Hendricks’ world.

A beguilingly unisex blend of herbs and fruits, Hendricks starts with clean, clear notes of juniper and coriander, spiked with exotic cassia and light touches of lemon and bergamot. Winding through it all is just a distant whiff of gunpowder.

Hendricks at the Common Brimstone shop

To celebrate the launch of my very own celebrity fragrances (!), I’m giving away two sampler sets of a 1ml vial of each fragrance for you to try out.

All you have to do to be in with a chance is to leave a comment on this post – please note that comments are moderated to reduce spam, so don’t panic if yours doesn’t appear right away.

Rules:

  1. One comment per entrant, please – multiple commenters will be disqualified (unless you’re replying to a question on the post or similar).
  2. For security reasons, please don’t leave contact details in your comment – there’s a space in the comment form for your email address, I’ll use that to get hold of you.
  3. Closing date for entries is noon UK time on Tuesday 17th December. Any comments posted after that deadline will be deleted.
  4. I will be picking two winners (using a random number generator), to receive one copy each.
  5. I will aim to get the prizes out promptly, but given how close it is to Christmas, I can’t guarantee delivery times, particularly overseas.
  6. If a winner does not respond by Christmas Eve (24th December) or doesn’t provide a valid email address, I reserve the right to select a replacement.

Good luck!

Comments

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darkpurplemoon

wow, what a fabulous idea! I have just finished the last in the trilogy and was rather sad that I wouldn’t be part of their world any more!

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Lisa

Ooooo, I like books. I like perfume! This is a fab idea! I might just have to have a look at these…

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Claire

Wow, these sound great! I especially like the sound of Coby’s – very wintery with all these spices.

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Joelle

I just finished reading the first three chapters of The Alchemist of Souls and now I’m especially excited to try these fragrances!

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V.A. Marchi

What a great way to involve another sense while you’re reading! Props!

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Rebecca Anne Dillon

A sent to match fictional characters cool idea.

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T. A. Hunchak

What a unique idea! I just finished reading the Alchemist of Souls, and it sounds like the fragrances fit the characters really well.

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Jacey Bedford

I have almost no sense of smell (so would have survived the Elizabethan street better than many!) Floral perfumes die the death on my skin, but juniper, lemon and bergamot are on my sensory wavelength, so this sounds right up my street.

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Barry Huddleston

I wonder how this would work with zombie stories hmmmm

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Anne Burner

Both of those sound lovely. The Maliverny sounds like it would push all my buttons though. ^_^

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Kevin Beynon

A brilliant idea. Going to have a look at getting one of these. Been looking for a good, natural eau de toilet.

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Margo-Lea Hurwicz

Both sound inspired & inspirational. I’d love to try them! The red boots of scents.