19 March 2015


A Harry Potter Meme!

They're up to Harry Potter MOTW #99
@ Uncorked Thoughts

I had known about the Harry Potter Moment of the Week meme for a while, but I never seemed to remember it on the days leading up to the themes I could easily write about. Well, I guess someone slipped a bit of Felix Felicis in my water today, because I'm just in time to join, at long last, with a theme based on another fun potion that our favourite young wizards get to cook up in class.

What would your Amortentia smell like?

This is the point at which I'd share an appropriate passage from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince . . . but for reasons explained in another post, my books are still all boxed up. =(

But I'm sure everyone who likes Harry Potter remembers that Amortentia is a powerful "love potion" that is really an obsession potion. You will become totally fixated upon whomever administers a dose to you.

Personally, I think that Amortentia is far more sinister than even the Imperius curse, and that J.K. Rowling under-utilises it. While I can appreciate it as a cute excuse to highlight the budding romances in the story, I remain unimpressed that this gun doesn't get to go off. And the virtual army of HP FF writers (Is there a collective noun for them?) who have made this potion the cornerstone of as many non-canonical pairings as you can count are clearly with me on this. =P

You probably wouldn't want to take this potion, but you'd enjoy smelling it: Amortentia is different to each person, because it smells like the things that you are most drawn to or fond of . . . even if you are not consciously aware that you like those things. Sniffing a phial of this potion could be quite the revelatory experience!

In the books, Harry's Amortentia smell is a blend of treacle tart, a broomstick handle, and "something flowery he thought he might have smelled at the [Weasley family's home]." (LOL!) Hermione Granger only shares the first two "notes" that she identifies--freshly mown grass and new parchment--before blushing and falling silent. But we know from one of Rowling's interviews that the third "note" is the smell of Ron Weasley's hair (ROFL!), which means that we now have a pattern. Amortentia would smell to you like three things: a) something that you find very pleasant; b) something that makes you feel alive, creative, focused, and capable; and c) someone whom you have romantic feelings for.

Having figured out the "formula," I can finally answer the question. If I had a steaming cauldron of Amortentia in front of me right now, I would pick out . . . a newly-opened balikbayan box . . . cinnamon-sugar cookies . . . and a certain book that I received as a present years ago. (Ooooooh!)

But ask me again in a few years. Maybe the third note will change! ;-)


Jenny said...

Hmmm. Now I'm thinking of what mine would smell like. It probably would change for me too. Sometimes daily. Today it would smell like purple leaf plum tree blossoms, rain and a sleeping cat. Weird enough? I'm not sure these smells go together.

r said...

Pretty clever! I'd probably smell a cup of coffee, a cup of coffee, and a cup of tea, in that order. :)

Enbrethiliel said...


Jenny -- I've never smelled purple leaf plum tree blossoms! =( And there doesn't seem to be a perfume or lotion that borrows their scent. This may be one of those smells that I'd need to travel to experience. Good one, though!

And you'll notice that Harry's and Hermione's three smells don't really go together, either! But that doesn't really matter because no one can really criticise the combinations: everyone smells a different set but is pleased by all three in it! =)

R -- So much caffeine! LOL! I've lately become a fan of hibiscus tea, but that may not be what you have in mind. ;-)

Alex said...

I like that you figure out the formula and used it to describe how your potion would smell. I love the smell of books and I bet that book you received smells pretty good! :D

Enbrethiliel said...


It's actually not that great. LOL! And it took a while to grow on me. But it's definitely distinctive. I'd know it anywhere!

Thanks for visiting, Alex. =)

DMS said...

Great job getting in on this meme this week! I also like that you broke down the potion into its three smell points. I think mine would smell woodsy, because I love nature, the ocean because it makes me feel alive and I guess there would be the smell of my fiance (guessing his shampoo- as he doesn't wear any cologne). Awesome post and it would be interesting and telling to see what the real potion would smell like for each of us!

Sheila said...

Summer rain, damp earth, Old Spice.

Perhaps greasy wool instead of damp earth, though. I do like that smell.

(The ads for Old Spice are not at all exaggerated. If you haven't smelled it, it really DOES smell that awesome. Hence why I've been making my man wear it since college.)

Enbrethiliel said...


Jess -- Nice answer! I wish that I had thought of the ocean. When I was coming up with my Amortentia, I started with natural smells; but as you can see, everything I've ended up with is manmade!

Sheila -- Nothing fermented? I'm surprised! ;-) The greasy wool makes up for it, though!

I've seen the Old Spice ads, because they're that awesome, but I don't think I've ever smelled the product itself. =(

Sheila said...

The smell of damp earth and the smell of fermentation are rather similar ... since the earth is always fermenting!

Jen Ryland said...

Love this post and you're right about the potion being underutilized. It makes me think of the amazing White Cat series, actually...
My potion would smell like flowers -- maybe peonies or lilacs or lavender...

Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

Enbrethiliel said...


Thanks for reading, Jen! =)

I've never tried the White Cat series, but based on the reviews, it's worth trying.