If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may remember me sharing this story. But it’s truly a story worth telling again. Why? Because it explains how creating candles works sometimes when you are dealing with book characters as your muse.
Vishous was one of the most difficult candle fragrances I have come up with. As you will see in his story, there was a stubbornness that was born when I worked on his candle. I learned more about myself after finishing his candle than any other – it was that tough!
I learned that determination and patience pay off. I learned that flexibility is key when you have to revise your plans more than once to make what you’ve got going on in your head come out on paper or in a candle fragrance. I learned that sometimes you can create an imaginary relationship with your muse that makes you sometimes question your mental health. Haha!
So here’s my story about how Book Boyfriends betray you:
What do fictional characters and fragrance development have in common? Well, my friends, I’m going to tell you a little story about a book boyfriend that I’ve been working on for months. His name is Vishous.
Many moons ago I started to work on Black Dagger Brotherhood candles. I was able to work out Wrath and Beth quickly as The King was released. I was SOO happy and excited to continue to work on the rest of the Brothers. Fangirl that I am, I wanted them to be perfect. So I started on Vishous and Zsadist fragrance profiles. I knew what I wanted, I knew what The Warden said about them and I was going to make this happen!
V is a popular Brother. He is loved by many and I think there are lots of fans who sort of veer toward him or Zsadist as their fave Brother. So I knew it was important to get it right. My first try at V -flop. Second try – flop. I’m not giving up, although I’m starting to feel frustrated that the fragrance isn’t working out. On the third blend I am starting to pray to the Scribe Virgin. Bad move, because that didn’t work out either. I began to get angry with V. Why was he being so stubborn? Why couldn’t he just get on board? Why is he keeping his fragrance from me?
Yes, I had begun to personify a fragrance based on a fictional character. I think there are all kinds of wrong with that picture. Somehow, dear friends, I know you will understand.
I decide to walk away and focus on Z. Zsadist opened up to me after two tries. His fragrance just worked and I was thrilled. I love Z, so I was so happy that his candle was ready to go.
Still angry with V, I move on to Rhage. Now, this is a Brother who I melt for. So I was hoping and praying he would cooperate. So I start at it – I want there to be a cherry scent in there because the one thing I think is super sexy about Rhage is the Tootsie Pop thing. However, after a few tries, and some stinky results, I realize I’m forcing this idea and need to back up and think about the other things I love about Rhage. He’s outgoing, affectionate, and even his Beast has a heart in there (at least when it comes to Mary). So I imagined Rhage sitting in The Pit with a big hoodie on, hanging out with the boys. Red Sox are on and he’s wondering which is more fanatic (or insane) – Butch or Vishous. I focused on the smell of his sweatshirt and imagined how being cuddled up to him would smell. And I just kept that vision in my head as I worked through fragrances. And after a couple of tries, I got it. I am excited about his fragrance and I hope that you all will love it too.
All the time I’m working on Rhage, V is there – heckling me. But not in an obnoxious Lassiter kind of way. He’s just there leaning against a wall, arms crossed, staring me down. Like he’s daring me to try to put him in a container candle. The problem for him is I don’t give up.
I decide I’m going to work on a candle for the new book, The Shadows. I find a great fragrance, do a little blending and voila they are set.
I try Vishous again and I start to feel like I’m close. Like I’m finally wearing him down and he’s going to cooperate. I try one last ditch effort before I scrap it all and start over. By this time I’ve tried at least 6-7 different blends, incorporating all different sort of things. The thing that’s killing the scent is that the leather I know needs to be there is overpowering everything else. I want it to be present, but not the only fragrance. And maybe because I’m trying to incorporate his hand into the fragrance, he’s fighting with me. But I know that I have to include that because the cursed part of V is what makes him who he is – his hand, his visions – and I think is part of why he’s so elusive.
So I’m back at it, just days ago, and I try one last time. One last blend. As I put the fragrance in, I beg him to cooperate. When I pull it out of the drying cabinet, I give it a sniff. Something smells right about it. But I’m not getting too excited. I know he’s screwed with me before and I’m not up for another disappointment. I light the candle and walk away. Trying to be casual, like it’s not going to bother me if he’s acting like an asshat again. After about 30 minutes, I can smell his candle from the other room. I start to smile. And then I’m laughing. And then I see him in mind giving me a nod and walking away. Yep, Vishous has finally agreed to cooperate.