Images from the Dr. M. Leona Godin’s Aromatica Poetica Newsletter including: the AP logo carved in stone, a romantic table with smells emanating from the dishes and a not-happy hostess, a photo of Leona onstage in a dazzling spotlight, a woman sitting at her computer with a perfume bottle on the screen, a dog smelling planet Earth, and a flower collage. Full image descriptions below.

Newsletter: Smells on Parade

The latest DR. M. Leona Godin’s Aromatica Poetica Newsletter includes A new poetry/prose series that articulates the joys and difficulties of putting language to smells, 2 new books, a cosmic smelling dog, anosmia revisited—with a twist, a NYPL Fellowship, oh, and, sometimes, SIGHTED PEOPLE SUCK!


An illustration of a man and a woman sitting at a kitchen table that’s draped romantically with a white tablecloth and a rose at its center. The woman in a pretty frilly collared dress looks judgingly at the man who is about to dig into his plate of meat, potatoes and greens with gusto. The fridge with magnets, a stove with simmering pot, and wood floors leading to another door are in the background. Tentacles of smells reach out of the objects in their respective colors: purple for the wine, red for the rose, brown for the meat, etc.
Illustration by Alabaster Rhumb for “Anosmia” by Tara Ison.


Dear Friends and family,

Here in NYC, winter seems finally to be upon us, so we’re wrapping ourselves in velvet and making Cranberry Spice Old Fashions for everyone! Since September I’ve been knocking around the beautiful New York Public Library Schwarzman Building with its iconic lions, Patience and Fortitude. Thanks to a Diamonstein-Spielvogel Fellowship, I’m researching and  writing about the anonymous blind faces in the NYPL photography collection while thinking hard about what image description can bring to photography.


Me onstage alt text: In a brilliant spotlight, I appear to be speaking directly into the camera. I’m wearing a knee-length black dress with long fringe and a sheer turtleneck over it with tall black boots and my chain-link utility belt and a couple of velvet pockets hanging off of it. Moses, my white cane, is in my right hand and I'm gesturing with my left. My theatrical shadow is cast on the wall behind me.
Leona onstage in SIGHTED PEOPLE SUCK! Photo curtesy Benjamin Cerf.

In a totally different venture, I performed SIGHTED PEOPLE SUCK! For an enthusiastic sold-out house as part of the Gotham Storytelling Festival. Read more about it HERE, and please reach out if you have ideas of where I might bring it next…–I’m hoping to produce it again in 2024. Meanwhile I’m thrilled to bring my storytelling together with my smell obsession in a scented storytelling journey at Olfactory Art Keller in January—more on that coming soon…


Black and white illustration of a woman sitting at a desk looking at her computer screen from a back/side angle. Her hair is in a loose bun on the top of her head and she’s wearing a tank top. Beside her is a window with curtains that are bunched and tied revealing a night sky: a crescent moon and some stars beyond. Glowing light shows a portion of face and arm, but all is mostly black. On the desk is a big computer screen, keyboard, a cup with pencils, and some books, a tissue box. On the screen is a color promo photo of Chanel N. 19, Paris, Parfum—a rectangular bottle of amber perfume that sits on top of its pearl-colored box.
Illustration by Alabaster Rhumb for “Sillage 1: Chanel No. 19” by Jehanne Dubrow.


At Aromatica Poetica, we published some really fantastic and utterly distinctive writing—click the links below , including a new Sillage series by Jehanne Dubrow that pairs poems with a brief, lyric meditation on the challenges of turning scent into language.

If you’re looking for gifts for hungry  readers this season, may we direct your attention to recently published books by two of our favorite writers? Mandy Aftel, world-renown perfumer, author, and museum creator—I had the pleasure of interviewing her a few years back—put together a stunning, generously illustrated book  : The Museum of Scent: Exploring the Curious and Wondrous World of Fragrance. It’s a must-have natural and cultural history that was inspired by the Aftel Archive of Curious Scents in Berkeley, the first museum of fragrance in the US. And Long-time contributor, Mike Lewis Beck charmed us with his collection of “very, very short poems,” Shorter and Sweeter, which contains many delicious taste-and-smell-inspired morsels—available through Prairie Lights Books.


New fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and art

A creative and whimsical image that features a large, brown dog's head in space, hovering above a small Earth. The dog (probably a Basset Hound) has droopy ears and a calm expression. The Earth is depicted with blue oceans and green and brown land masses—you can make out the general shapes of continents such as North and South America, Africa, and parts of Europe and Asia. The starry background appears to be a photograph, while the dog and the Earth seem to be drawn or digitally created, giving the image a mix of realism and illustration. Description by Be My AI, lightly edited.
Illustration by Alabaster Rhumb for “Nose of the World” by Amber Burke.


✿        SILLAGE #2: Ambre Narguilé * Poetry + Prose * Jehanne Dubrow

✿        “Anosmia” * Fiction * Tara Ison

✿        “Safranal” & Other Poems by Lora Berg

✿        “The Nose of the World” * Fiction * Amber Burke

✿        Sillage 1: Chanel No. 19 * Poetry + PROSE * Jehanne Dubrow

✿        Poems by PM Flynn * Collages by Bill Wolak

✿        “Golf” & “Tang” * Poetry * Robert Donohue


This digital flower collage resembles a mosaic made by repeating an image of wildflowers in purple, white and yellow.
“Sleepless Blossoming” by Bill Wolak.


Interviews, at Home  & Abroad

I was delighted to speak to Brown Bag Lit in their inaugural Lattes and Lit interview series—we cover a lot of ground in just over 15 minutes…



And I took a virtual hop across the pond to speak with David Bradford on his Ways of Not Seeing podcast. Also honored to be quoted by my friend and fellow blind writer, Jim Knipfel, in his wonderful article about the myths and truths of blind superpowers.


With sweet and spicy winter wishes,

Leona Godin & Aromatica Poetica

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