I was a young wife starting a new life with my husband in one of the country’s most stunning and fragrant paradises: Oregon. But then I had one of those worst-case scenario births where you’re in labor for three days and end up getting four pints of psycho juju blood from a stranger. Pregnancy had made my nose go haywire, but now my lifelong sniffing habit reached a fever pitch. I was suddenly attuned to everything, and everything smelled foreign to me. I unraveled, obsessed with a feeling that Oregon was not my home. So I did the thing everyone told me was over for new moms – I strapped that baby to my chest and I set out to travel. My goal? To create new smell memories in the land of peonies, lavender, and hops. Pioneer Perfume tells of how I reset my catalog of Proustian moments through scent in order to feel at home in the American West.
Emily's Salem blog
In February 2009, I started a blog about life in Oregon's often under-appreciated capital city of Salem. Desperately Seeking Salem was about searching for the sublime, the silly and the surreal in a place that is trapped between being a big city and a small town. In September of 2009, the readers of Salem Weekly named DSS Salem's best blog. Blogging life in Salem also served as inspiration for my local column in the Statesman Journal, which ran until December 2011. I continue to teach blog writing to small groups and to speak about blogging for small groups. To get a free copy of all of my Statesman Journal columns, click on the PDF link below.