August 23, 2013 at 5:41 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , )


Author: John Oehler

Genre: Mystery

Length: 342 pages

I should not have been surprised with a title like Aphrodesia, but ironically, I was. I had half a mind to add Erotica to the genre line, but I wasn’t quite sure if the shoe fit. Oehler’s book is definitely erotic, but there’s a story and a purpose to his rated R material, so I found myself drawn in by things that would normally repulse me. If that’s not good writing, I don’t know what is.

Oehler has managed to capture the world of perfuming in a pretty intense way. I’ve never read anything like it, and highly doubt I’ll ever find or read anything like it again.  It’s truly unique.

I’ve read foodie books, coffeehouse style with baked goods, travel books with exotic cooking recipes… nothing has tickled my nose so that I could smell the story so well.  It would not surprise me to discover that the author develops fragrances in his spare time as well.  His descriptions are gritty, a little dirty, and down right accurate; which, for me, made the whole reading experience a little disconcerting.

If you follow my blog and have previously read Mary Reason Theriot or Kendall Grey, this might be right up your alley.  Although Oehler isn’t really comparable to either one of those authors – he’s in a sub genre of all his own making. I don’t quite know what to do with him.  I’m simultaneously reminded of the old classic, The Monk, written in 1796 by a guy smitten with the writings of Marquis de Sade, and Elizabeth George with her mysterious detective  dramas.  Needless to say, I’d like to read something else Oehler has written and see what his non-erotic mysteries read like… or if he writes non-erotically.  (This is where that nasty habit of not reading the backs of books or other reviews or blurbs on books comes to bite me in the butt, I know little about an author or their work, until I’ve read most their work.  But that keeps life interesting AND keeps me reading, right?)

John Oehler will be signing books at Half Price Books Humble Saturday August 24th and then at the HPB North Oaks the following Saturday.  Join the event page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/505154219566449/ for all the details and come out and pick up a copy of his book in person.  Probably best done before you read the work, as I anticipate not being able to look him in the face after being made to blush on nearly every page for the first 100 pages of his book.  We’ll see how that works out tomorrow.  P.S. I’m a little bit of a literary prude, and I’m ok with that.  Despite my prudishness… I like this book.

Also, sometimes I include this, often I forget but today I think it is relevant: I had Frank Sinatra playing and Ace warming (Scentsy product).

1 Comment

  1. Interview with John Oehler | Anakalian Whims said,

    […] Aphrodesia is another story that took years to mature. I first became interested in fragrances while living in London in the mid-80s. I started collecting perfume samples, perfume books, and articles on the psychology of scent. I wanted to write a story centered on fragrances but couldn’t think of an interesting plot — until I met a master perfumer in Versailles who told me that creating a true aphrodisiac is the Holy Grail of the perfumer’s art. I thought: Bingo! I can make a story out of an aphrodisiac. […]

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