How would you expect a literary character to smell?

 Julie Myerson sniffs out the ones that capture Lily Briscoe, the self-conscious outsider in Virginia Woolf’s “To the Lighthouse”

She came up on the train, Lily Briscoe, tired, skinny, relentlessly vulnerable, with her dark Chinese eyes and little, anxious puckered-up face. The grit and steam still clinging to her dull, brown spinster clothes. No make-up or artifice here, no dressing-table perfume. But come and stand behind her and you might catch the clean tang of Pear’s soap, mingled with an odour of Parma violets or coffee breath. Or maybe, as she lifts her brush to add yet another dab of mauve or red, the faint, lonely staleness of her underarms.

Read the full article here on the  Intelligent Life. You can find the image there too.

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