Children’s novel The Doom Town Dummies inspired by 50-year-old smell company AromaPrime in Blackpool
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AN employee of a Blackpool based aroma company has been inspired to write a children's novel.
Founded in Blackpool in 1973, AromaPrime creates unusual smells for the world’s leading theme parks and museums.
Employee and author Liam R. Findlay has just released a children’s novel based on the company and its work.
The Doom Town Dummies is a supernatural adventure story for ages 8+, and it follows 11-year-old Colette Planchette, who can talk to the dead through a supernatural sense of smell.
This ability comes in handy, considering Colette’s 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 focuses heavily on the ways smells can suggest emotions, and which also uses lots of descriptive language around smells, has AromaPrime to thank for many of the odiferous ideas used.
Founded 50 years ago by Blackpool local Fred Dale, AromaPrime was the world’s first scenting company to specialise in theme parks and museums.
More recently based in Rochdale, the company has recreated the smell of a T-rex with the Natural History Museum, they have immersed people in the past at Jorvik Viking Centre, and they have evoked feelings of excitement at Alton Towers Resort.
This year, AromaPrime was responsible for creating spooky pongs for the new ride, The Curse at Alton Manor, as well as introducing an old recipe, Alien Egg Nest, to the reopened Nemesis: Sub-Terra attraction. AromaPrime’s Blackpool customers include Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Madame Tussauds Blackpool, The Hole in Wand Blackpool and The Blackpool Tower Dungeon.
It is Liam’s job to work with customers on the best smells for their experiences, and all that thinking about stinks has rubbed off on his writing.
To take things further, Liam has worked with the team at AromaPrime to create a collection of smells based on objects and characters in the book.
These include the salty bite of Colette's soul, the lemony tang 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.
This is an idea he encourages at AromaPrime, where stories are often told through smell at attractions.
Some of these pongs based on The Doom Town Dummies are available for sale on AromaPrime's website, so children can sniff as they read. Liam will also take the smells to talks at schools and libraries, using boxes he has illustrated, to inspire children to think more about the smells around them, and what those smells might mean to them.
To celebrate the new book, Liam has designed a unique mystery Halloween event, taking place at Lincolnshire’s famous ‘mannequin graveyard’.
With a story based on The Doom Town Dummies, guests will be challenged to explore the creepy site, where they will encounter a range of quirky characters that might help or hinder their investigation into paranormal activity!
The experience will involve sights, sounds, and of course smells. Tickets are selling now for DOOM TOWN: A Mannequin Mystery, which takes place on 20th and 21st October. Tickets can be ordered here: https://mannakin.com/dt23/
Liam explains his thinking behind the whole project:“When you’re thinking about smells and talking about smells and sniffing smells as much as I am, it is no surprise that is has an effect!
"That said, I do find smells intriguing. They can transport us back in time, and they can trigger feelings we never knew we had. I knew that this would be a fascinating angle to explore in my book The Doom Town Dummies.
“The main character in the novel, Colette, has what she calls the Second Smell, which 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.
“AromaPrime helped me understand the many ways one can describe smells, as well as how smells play tricks on our minds.
"I also love researching the company’s rich history, which started off in Blackpool 50 years ago.
"Readers of The Doom Town Dummies might notice a nod to AromaPrime in the story, in the form of a sinister company that makes smells for theme parks! That said, I can assure readers that AromaPrime has no nefarious plans like the company in my novel.”