The Doom Town Dummies is a supernatural adventure story for ages 8+, written by Liam R. Findlay who works for AromaPrime. The story follows eleven-year-old Colette Planchette, who can talk to the dead through a supernatural sense of smell. This comes in handy, considering her best friend Lucian is a ghost. When the two find themselves in a village of eerie shop-window dummies, it quickly becomes clear that someone, or something, is watching…
The book, which focusses heavily on the ways smells can spark emotions, and which also uses lots of descriptive language around smells, takes inspiration from AromaPrime for various odiferous ideas.
Founded in 1973, AromaPrime was the world’s first scenting company to specialise in theme parks and museums. Over the years, we have recreated the smell of a T-rex with the Natural History Museum, we have immersed people in the past at Jorvik Viking Centre, and we have evoked feelings of excitement at Alton Towers Resort.
To take things further, Liam has worked on a collection of smells based on objects and characters in The Doom Town Dummies. These include the floral fragrance of Lucian the spectre, the enticing aroma of the story's lotus flowers, the fishy reek of the Snouted Snatcher monster, and a mysterious 'yellow smell' that perplexes and intrigues Colette. In creating the smells of the book in real-life, it was Liam’s hope that he could 'illustrate' the story via olfaction and show that we don't always have to rely on what we can see when it comes to storytelling.
Liam will take the smells to talks at schools and libraries to inspire children to think more about the smells around them, and what those smells might mean to them. The smells are also available here on the AromaPrime website.
Liam shares some more information on Colette's supernatural sniffing power:
“The main character in The Doom Town Dummies, Colette, has what she calls the Second Smell. This allows her to sense the souls of the dead through their smells. Everyone’s soul, whether they’re dead or alive, has its own smell, based on the personality of the person it belongs to. Colette uses this power to talk to her best friend, a ghost called Lucian.
“Not only has AromaPrime helped me understand the many ways one can describe smells, as well as how smells play tricks on our minds, it has also inspired me through the creativity that flows from the team at our olfactory factory! AromaPrime also has a fascinating history, having been founded in 1973 by industry pioneer Fred Dale. Readers of The Doom Town Dummies might spot a nod to AromaPrime, in the form of a sinister company that makes smells for theme parks!”