I was thinking about historical romance and how certain time periods can turn off romance readers due to the stink factor. But then I started expanding on this thought into the realm of paranormal romance and the possible ick factor that could also turn off romance readers.
Vampires: Let’s face it, they are undead and they drink blood. The lingering smell of death—crypts and coffins—clings to them. How great could they smell, especially their breath?
Werewolves: They turn into hairy wolves and feast on flesh, any kind of flesh—animal or human. I’m thinking of a wet dog smell right now. Mix wet dog smell with doggy breath and these paranormal creatures are mighty stinky. I would guess that any animal shape shifter would have a certain stink related to that particular animal.
Elves, Goblins and Trolls: Elves probably smell pretty good. They usually look clean at least, but goblins and trolls, not so much.
Ghosts: They probably don’t have any smell, but according to Ghostbusters they like to spray ectoplasma. That’s like being washed in ghost buggers. Messy creatures.
Demons/Angels: I’m not sure how these paranormal creatures smell, but I’ve never seen or read about a demon or angel bathing when wearing a meat suit.
Gods/Goddesses: Whether gods/goddesses stink probably depends on which culture the deities come from. Greek/Roman gods like to bathe a lot so they would probably smell okay. But would a war or death goddess that changes into scavenger birds like crows or ravens smell pleasant or would she smell like death? Something to ponder for my next book.
Faeries: These paranormal creatures fall under many categories. I always imagined these otherworldly creatures would smell like the forest, which could be a pleasant smell for some people as long as the faery in question doesn’t live in a swamp or other smelly area.
Zombies: Forget it. These are disgusting creatures. They slobber, have decaying flesh and they eat brains! There is no hope for zombies smelling even remotely pleasant.
I suppose if a vampire had an endless supply of breath mints and a werewolf bathed often, they wouldn’t smell so bad. Or, it’s best if a romance reader just forgets all about the possibility of unpleasant smelling creatures and gets lost in the fantasy of romance.
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