A Writer Who Makes Scents: Literary Inspired Candles

Porochista Khakpour

Tanwi Nandini Islam, writer and founder of Hi Wildflower Botanica, has introduced #GetLit: new scented candles inspired by some of her favorite authors.

Although readers may have different methods of consuming literature, perhaps what we all have in common is a desire for complete immersion. In her article for Elle, Tanwi recalls the conception of her project: “When you get lost in the imaginary world of a book you engage your sense of sight, touch, maybe even sound–so why not scent?”

#GetLit candles successfully capture the defining scents of four contemporary novels. Kiese Laymon’s Long Division evokes an intoxicating blend of Mississippi’s magnolia and moss; Porochista Khakpour’s The Last Illusion provides a whiff of scorpion amber, Persian saffron, and smoke; Mira Jacob’s The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing transports us to New Mexico and Kerala, India, using prairie grass, sandalwood, and sage; Nayomi Munaweera’s Island of a Thousand Mirrors smells of Sri Lankan vetiver and coconut.

A human’s most primitive sense — our sense of smell — is directly related to emotions, memories, and creativity. Curling up in an armchair with one of these four novels, its corresponding candle flickering, will allow us to travel to a place we’ve never been before, or return us to the place that matters most.

August 5, 2015: The title of this article has been changed to accommodate a request from the proprietor of the Etsy store Novel Scents.