Have you ever been hijacked? By your se, that is? Have you ever been, at a mere whiff, snatched and catapulted into a time of remembered bliss? Or remembered grief? What if your se was a veritable time machine transporting and immersing you, mind, body and soul into a past long gone yet as exquisitely vivid as the present? On the surface there is thing remarkable about Clementine's se: it has only two strils and sits roughly in the middle of her face. Yet when it is discovered that the six-year old has in fact the se of a bloodhound, it soon converts her into a force to be reckoned with in the small hamlet where she is growing up. Is she angel or beast? Her bizarre attribute garners her praise but also subjects her to taunts and insults, until a searing humiliation brings her ambivalence to a tipping point, and upon reaching puberty she makes a decision which will change the course of her life by a few latitudes. How she handles and resolves her strong ambivalence is developed in this olfactory odyssey, a sensuous tale with comedy, drama, and romance, drenched in fragrant magic realism.
Jocelyne Lebon was born in Belgium and educated in Europe and the United States. She holds a degree in International Conference Interpreting and a Master's in Clinical Psychology. She now lives in Los Angeles with her husband. Clementine's Uncommon Scents is her debut novel.