In romantic fiction particularly it is often relegated to detecting the sandalwood soap the lead male prefers, the strawberry shampoo the lead lady always buys or the musk of a well-sexed room the leads always leave in their conjoined wake.
Forgotten is the smell of lilacs outside a restaurant’s front door. The pop of peppers in the steak au poivre. The crisp, clean scent of laundry fresh from a dryer.
Perhaps more understandably also denied is the stench of garbage in a back alley, the clog of car exhaust on a busy city street or the cloying chlorine-calling card a pool always sends ahead of a swim.
When a scene is lacking freshness, novelty or a grunt of reality, don’t forget the sense of scent. After all, it’s as close as the nose on your face.