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12 December 2006 @ 06:22 pm
A 'Challenge' to Ficcers...  
This started out as a joke running between myself and fictionalizedme in emails because today was just too slow for her at work, and I thought it might be fun to stretch your minds, as well...

I frequently see wonderful descriptions of the characters in prose, but as we all know, writing should engage ALL the senses. One of them that doesn't seem to get the notice that is due, is scent.

So here's the challenge...

Take any character from FMA, and tell me what YOU think that character would smell like. Their "natural" scent. Not the cologne they might wear.

C'mon! I dare ya! ;)

Here are some that we came up with, but of course you might have a different opinion...

Riza – cinnamon. Spicy, somewhat feminine yet STRONG, but with the harsh contrast of gun metal.

Winry – sunflowers, metal and oil.

Maes -- Orange/cinnamon/clove/tea

Roy -- Incense/cinders/ginger/a hint of musk

Havoc -- Ozone/rain forests/freshly tilled earth/straw/with just a touch of gun oil

Schieszka - Book dust/Parchment/Vanilla

Gracia - Apples/rich spices/Sandalwood

Ed would smell like sunshine and steel (like fresh laundry hung out on a hot summer day to dry).

I always thought of Al as smelling like talc. Not baby powder, necessarily, but that clean, warm, powdery kind of smell, which still has the sense of innocence about it.

Okay, I admit it, I'm a card-carrying Sensualist... so shoot me!
Lyra Ngalia: FMA Winrylyricnonsense on December 12th, 2006 10:48 pm (UTC)
Winry - a mix of freesia (a very light floral scent), sweat, fresh cut metal, machine grease, and that distinctive scent of machinery that's a combination of metal, machine grease, and heat but doesn't smell particularly like any of those three things alone.

Havoc - a combination of cigarette smoke and soap, with an almost undetectable undercurrent of gunpowder

Those are the two that come easiest to me. Will think more about this later!
Lyra Ngalia: FMA Winrylyricnonsense on December 13th, 2006 05:32 am (UTC)
Roy - smoke and/or ozone, with a hint of something woodsy/spicy.

Riza - gunpowder and violets

Gracia - fresh baked bread and vanilla. Very warm, very comforting.

Maes - a hint of sweat, as well as a very clean scent, something like the way the world smells after it rains (but not like damp earth)

Kimbley - Definitely sulphur, possibly sulphur and nitrogen.

King Bradley - Wood smoke, peppermint, and pipe tobacco, with a hint of dry dust and rot (kind of like the way leaves smell in late autumn after a rain).

Ed - a mix of the way freshly cut grass smells on a hot summer's day and old metal, not as sharp or clear as fresh cut metal, but still a bit metallic, a bit faintly of grease and oil.

Scar - iron and a dry, dusty kind of spice, something very faint, that tickles the nose and makes you want to sneeze.
havocmangawip: havochughavocmangawip on December 12th, 2006 10:48 pm (UTC)
Oooh, yes... but for Havoc I think:
No-nonsense soap(Like Ivory), a little sweat (not stinky, but a sweaty boy sometimes smells good), a tinge of cigarette smoke, the sweets he's eaten, I think he has a horrid sweet tooth (It's the oral fixation.), grass, and gun oil, especially on his hands/and on his uniform at the area of the right shoulder.

Sciezka is so dead on. XD Maybe some tea too!
lilfmagurl on December 12th, 2006 11:00 pm (UTC)
Maes would definetly smell like fresh baked apple pies, since gracia bakes them all the time xD yummy *eats him*
about ed...I definetly agree with the sunshine smell, but mixed with a bitter smell like...blood and iron <33
riza-> gun powder smell mixed with a hint of flower scent and apples ;D she likes apples!

uh...I dont know how al would smell like...armour!al would definetly smell like oil, but human!al would most likely smell like...uh...KITTIES AND CANDY! XDD
selinianuo on December 12th, 2006 11:32 pm (UTC)
Kimbley would smell like blood. Somehow, that coppery smell would linger, perhaps not strong at the moment you meet him, yet it is still there. And oddly enough, I view him as having a fairly pleasant smell like spice layering over the scent of blood, his charming mask over his true nature.
Chloe-girl: Hornet flowergrass_angel on December 13th, 2006 01:19 am (UTC)
Now look what you've made me write about...
Pinako = lavender and a soft smoke scent, cotton

Riza = really good quality vanilla hot chocolate powder, with dusty/old overtones. (Not necessarily gunpowder, but just dusty)

Winry = Lavender, maybe some daffodil (really fresh smelling) and fresh cut metal (kind of acidic-like)

Maes = water smell. Not quite like the tea you've listed, but kind of water that smells good even though nothing's been done to it.
If that makes any sense.

Roy or Havoc = that smell that comes from an incense box that's had lots of incense lit and placed in it. Very rich and smoky almost but with no identifiable scent. Almost musk like. (I think this'd be Havoc over Roy, Roy's scent would be sharper and more acidic, whereas Havoc's is almost fresher and lighter)

Al = something floral... I know exactly what it should smell like but I can't describe it.
Just clean and simple though. Nothing that's too stuffy, nor cloggy.

Armstrong = something strong like clove, mint or teatree, but blended so it's gentler. Maybe with a warm oil like almond.
ievakaskuievakasku on December 13th, 2006 03:31 am (UTC)
Scar: incense, sandalwood, and desert-y spices. With some of that sandy-desert-at-night smell (not really sure how else to describe it) Also a little bit of blood, but very faint.

Envy: a damp forest right after dawn, kinda mossy, and also with an underlying blood scent. Very sharp.

Lust: a mixture of roses and irises, with an underlying intangible seductive sweet spice/incense-y smell
Mac: FMA - drunkroyfictionalizedme on December 13th, 2006 04:46 am (UTC)
O dear gods, we're spreading the madness!!!!!

That's OK, I've thought of some more:

Breda - I think he'd somehow always have the smell of fried *something* coming off of him. Like how Mom's kitchen would smell after frying chicken.

Gluttony - A mix between a moist, stinky compost pile and a dry hint of bonemeal.

Tricia - Roses. Just...roses.

Hohenheim - the inside of an old leather suitcase; well-worn with a subtle aroma of mold.
... and despair!hieronymousb on December 13th, 2006 06:11 am (UTC)
Well, I can't speak for anyone else, but I think I describe scent in almost every fic I write. O_o

I could see Envy smelling a lot of different ways. What I imagine him smelling like largely depends upon my mood. Sometimes I feel like he has something of a neutral, cool scent, like wet concrete, but at other instances he also strikes me as having a sort of burnt, 'singed' odor (especially his hair) due to the fact that his body is made from alchemy--chemical compounds splitting and coming together--and I can't help but think some of those chemical reactions would create a burnt odor. So I guess it could go either way, for me.
c_b_syndromec_b_syndrome on December 13th, 2006 02:46 pm (UTC)
Well, I can't speak for anyone else, but I think I describe scent in almost every fic I write.

I know you do. I -try- to. But it does get neglected in a lot of fic*. Personally, I find it difficult sometimes to describe scent and that might be part of the reason it gets left out for others, as well. I can drown myself in it, I can even identify my children and my friends by scent, but to find the right words for what I'm smelling isn't all that easy.

I liked your description of Envy. Out of curiosity, do you think that his scent might alter slightly with each different shape he took?

*It's been somewhat neglected in BoP, too *hangs head in shame* (I'm actually elbow deep in massive revisions of the story now, which is part of how this came up in the first place)
... and despair!hieronymousb on December 13th, 2006 03:07 pm (UTC)
Well, scent is largely connected to memory, so I think the key to describing scent is to relate it to something which the reader has probably experienced before--i.e. the air after a rain or a certain kind of cologne or cloth straight from the dryer, or ozone or gasoline. When I'm trying to describe how something smells, I usually say "like ... [insert something reader can probably relate to]" or "a mixture of... [insert same things]".

I liked your description of Envy. Out of curiosity, do you think that his scent might alter slightly with each different shape he took?

Not sure. If it didn't, he'd probably be pretty easy to identify. :) Now that could be a plotbunny idea all on its own.

*It's been somewhat neglected in BoP, too *hangs head in shame* (I'm actually elbow deep in massive revisions of the story now, which is part of how this came up in the first place)

BoP. Ah dear. I am so behind on reading that one. O_o Massive revisions? Ouch. That doesn't sound fun at all!
c_b_syndromec_b_syndrome on December 13th, 2006 03:43 pm (UTC)
Ahhhh... but the fun comes in when you're trying to take a 21st century, middle american nose and put it into an early 20th century quasi-european environment. Some things just don't translate (fortunately, it's rare, but I -will- have that to deal with in the sequel).

Now that could be a plotbunny idea all on its own.

I'll look forward to seeing how that bunny develops!

O_o Massive revisions? Ouch. That doesn't sound fun at all!

Fortunately, it's not as difficult nor as intimidating as it sounds. nebroadwe has been a Godsend. She's made it much easier for us to track down and seal up a few plot-holes, helped improve our grammar *cough*, cracked the whip and got us to pay closer attention to redundancies, clunky prose, alerting us to inescapable situations, etc. you know, all the things worthy of someone stuck with the title "The Izumi of Editing". ^^;; With luck and sweat, we should have the whole thing revised and polished up by the time we get the first story completed.

For that matter, Google Docs has helped, as well (One of the Bunnies came across it a couple of months ago, and we can't live without it now. If you're on a multi-writer project, this is perfect).[/advertising] I fear that the current chapter we're working on now would have ended us all if it weren't for that service. That thing has taken us on a tour of all nine rings of Hell, I swear! And it's THE pivotal chapter, and everything is blowing up in everyone's faces (including OURS!). Keep your fingers crossed that we can get it posted by Dec. 26th. At least that's the target date.
havocmangawip: Tinohavocmangawip on December 13th, 2006 05:57 pm (UTC)
I LURVE Google Docs... ALL of WIP is on it and I have a few peeps on the "Sooper Sekrit Filter" who get to see outlines and drafts as they're finished. XD

YAY for more BoP!
Zrana: hellconzrana on December 14th, 2006 06:42 pm (UTC)
*cracks up as this post is pointed out to her*

This has been one of the questions some friends of mine asked VAs of FMA characters for ashile now. XD It's even in one of the Adultswim interview videos. X3
c_b_syndromec_b_syndrome on December 15th, 2006 05:16 pm (UTC)

Well, I didn't think I'd been the first person to come up with that question...

But in an [AS] interview video? ^^;;
Zranazrana on December 15th, 2006 11:44 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it was the last question in a two or 3 part video interview with Mike McFarland, Greg Ayres, Chris Patton, and *thinks* Mike Sintershjfhs;dlas--the guy who was one of the Ishbalan kids, as well as Dean in Venture brothers. (To which he says "Dean smells like pee" in a conspiratal whisper to the camera. I can't remember if there's anyone else in it.

I don't know if the interview is still accessible, but it was up during the first half of FMA's initial run on [as].