Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Nosy Interview: Janet Brown

Janet is seated at The Bubble Nebula, © Dave Jurasevich 

I met Janet when we both worked at (the beautiful-smelling) Elliott Bay Book Company. Now she has a book of essays on the shelf at that store, and two more on the way.  For more from Janet, please visit Tone Deaf in Thailand

What do you smell like? 
I smell like whatever I've been eating, which is why I avoid onions but not garlic--there are limits to my consideration toward my fellow-creatures. I'd like to think I smell like limes and ginger and lemongrass and Thai chili, since these are things I eat every day of my life, but if I do it's a very, very subtle scent. 

I know I often smell of lavender because lavender oil is one of the best mosquito repellents in the world and I can't stand the smell of cheaper, more conventional repellents. I spend quite a bit on soap to get the scent I want and am in deep mourning because Boots in Bangkok no longer sells the lime shower gel that I loved--sharp and bright and non-floral. 

The only perfume I love on me is Niki de Saint Phalle but the air in Bangkok is too heavy and humid for me to wear perfume in this city. One of the things I love about Bangkok is that people avoid heavy fragrance here--and I never smell body odor on public transit.

Every time I get my hair cut, I have to rush home and take a shower to get rid of the odor of mousse and gel and spray that the lovely woman who is my hairdresser uses to finish off her handiwork. She enjoys the process so much that I can't tell her to stop but I can't stand smelling like that.

What do you like to smell?
My favorite smells in the world are jasmine when it blooms at night and fresh-ground coffee beans and bread when it's just baked and horses in the sun and marijuana after it's just been lit and bus exhaust (because when I grew up in Alaska, I only smelled that when I was in Manhattan.)


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