Nosy Girl Interview


I first came across Elizabeth Ames Staudt’s inimitable Nosy Girl blog when she interviewed writer Emma Straub. I was so charmed by what I found there that I immediately wrote her a fan letter.


I love all of Elizabeth’s posts, but my favorites are her Nosy Interviews. The concept is simple but powerful. Drawing from a pool of people that includes writers, artists, teachers, social workers and more, Elizabeth asks two questions: What do you smell like? What do you like to smell? The answers are sensuous, funny, poignant and often startlingly intimate. I always learn something. Browsing through the archives today, I discovered the heads of babies smell like potato chips, what it’s like to discover one has synaesthesia, and (with some trepidation) what the pleasures of an “extra, extra scent-free” space are for someone with severe allergies. This summer, when Nosy Girl interviewed Arielle Weinberg (who makes me laugh every single time she posts over on The Scents of Self) I learned about the scent of man rays. As if all that weren’t enough, Elizabeth asks her interviewees to submit a photo of themselves, preferably in profile (she wants to see your nose, people) so she can put them up in the stars.


I’m very excited to report that today it’s my turn. I’m up in the Cygnus Clouds with my favorite raspberry lipstick on, talking about the scent of scrumptiousness, midnight shadows, ferry boats and the beautiful cacophony of smells on a New York street, among other things. I hope you’ll drop by, tell me what you think, and take a look at Elizabeth’s archives while you’re there.


Image: Photo of me, by me. Collage created by Elizabeth Ames Staudt. Full credit for photo of star clouds on Elizabeth’s blog and at the Cygnus Clouds link.



  1. What fun! Thanks for introducing me to yet another (!) perfume blog 🙂


    • My pleasure! Part of why I love Nosy Girl is that it makes room for non-perfume people to talk about smells. I think of it as both an expansion of the perfumista world and a possible gateway into it.


    • Oh! Unless you were talking about Scents of Self. Of course, Ari expands the perfume universe in her own unique, big-hearted way.


  2. Midnight shadows! Potato chip babies! Manta rays!

    Thank you for such a generous post, Alyssa, and for introducing your readers to Nosy Girl! The Nosy Interviews are my favorite part of my blog, too (sheesh, if I do say so myself) and it’s so fun to hear what kinds of discoveries others make when reading them. So grateful to have you in the nosy galaxy!


    • Hooray!

      Say, there was one interview I remember vividly but couldn’t find. It was with a woman who worked at–was it a hospital? Some kind of institutional setting. There were children involved. OK, so my memory isn’t that vivid. But I remember being bowled over by her description of industrial carpet, fear, urine, and cafeteria food smells–the exact melange I remember from my days of working at a psych hospital. Do you know what I’m talking about?


  3. Katie @ cakes, tea and dreams

    I love this idea, and that photo. Super fun. And oh, that mixture of smells on a New York street is delicious.


    • Thanks, Katie! Nice to see you pop up over here. I am having a massive fit of nostalgia/longing for New York this morning and I can practically taste that street smell. I can hear the traffic, too. Sigh.


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