Smoky Perfume – a playlist

A wisp of incense smoke on a textured dark background.

This whole not-being-able-to-smell thing is rather distressing, like the world has lost a dimension.
But I’m getting better enough to be bored and fidgety, and I haven’t lost my hearing, so–

Here’s a playlist of songs, from my ramblings on scents that are all tagged as having smoky notes. Many get their smoke from incense, some from black tea; labdanum–rock rose–can have a marvelous creosote layer, and gunpowder gives edgy darkness.

Some of the songs are harsh, some soft, but they all have an intimate bluesy smoke vibe.
(And get vaxxed, and take your vitamin D.)

Absolue Pour Le SoirHoney Bee by Muddy Waters
A City On FireRooms on Fire by Stevie Nicks
NorneIf I Had a Heart by Fever Ray
O, Unknown!Blood Makes Noise by Suzanne Vega
Breath of GodJust Breathe by Pearl Jam
Land of WarriorsTake out the Gunman by Chevelle
FateI Put a Spell on You by Samantha Fish
TimbuktuTimbuktu Fasso by Fatoumata Diawara & Amine Bouhafa
MemoirInsanity by Emaan Zadjali
EncensSmoke & Mirrors by Gotye
Spice Must FlowCapricorn by 30 Seconds to Mars
La Fin du MondeUntil the End of the World by U2
Everything & NothingNothin’ by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss
LuiGentle Groove by Mother Love Bone

A DIRTY Vermont playlist

klimt music“A summer rain shower had left the evening air thick with steam.
Lazy fireflies flicked between the trees edging the streets as he drove. He tuned the radio to the campus station with eclectic song sets, and wound through several neighborhoods, old and new.”

In chapter thirteen–Kitchen Sync–of THE DIRTY SECRET, Killian drives through Burlington to walk in on Vessa, baking. She’s listening to the same indie radio station he was just playing.

A friend asked what song they were both listening to, so of course I had to make a playlist of some cool musicians from Vermont.

“He felt drunk, post coital with the euphoria spiraling through his guts and his spine, all because a girl had made him cookies.”

THE DIRTY SECRET Vermont Playlist:

THE DIRTY SECRET is available at and other fine ebook retailers.


Songs for Seraphima

“What are you?” His voice is raspy with sleep. “I’ve never dreamed of an angel in a mask before.”
“In China, we get to be dragons.” A sharp pinch on her toe snaps Seraphima back into her bones, the boy and his room sliding into the astral plane like a morning star.

–The Scent of Flames, Chapter Three: A Borrower

the lovers


Dido – No Angel

Talvin Singh feat. Amar – Jaan

Temple of The Dog – Say Hello 2 Heaven

Hildegard von Bingam – O Euchari In Leta Via

Black Mountain – Angels

Eurythmics – There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart)

Lesiëm – Fundamentium

Beyoncé – Halo

Enigma – Sadeness pt. 1

Jimi Hendrix – Little Wing

Jolie’s Playlist

Some music from Sweden for a long flight home, with YouTube links:

Capture MFD

Fever Ray: Keep the Streets Empty for Me

Nervous Nellie: Skeletons

The Leather Nun: Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!

The Cardigans: Erase/Rewind

NONONO: Like the Wind

Eagle-Eye Cherry: Crashing Down

Lykke Li: Little Bit

Tove Lo: Thousand Miles

A Midsummer Flight’s Dream, a short story originally published in the FREQUENT FLYERS collection, is available here.

Odin’s Murder Playlist

Julian worships Dylan, Ethan plays it loud, Memory wants it sexy, and Faye likes it strange.

nail polishMaggie’s Farm: RATM

Rumor Has It: Adele

One Two Three Four: Chennai Express

I Put A Spell On You: Shane McGowan et al

Hats Off to the Bull: Chevelle

Gotta Serve Somebody: Mavis Staples and Johnny Lang

Jaan: Talvin Singh

All Along the Watchtower: Jimi Hendrix

Shut Up And Drive: Rihanna

Facebook.con: Alabama 3

Subterranean Homesick Blues: Michael Franti

I Believe in You: Cat Power