Scent Survey: Julie Gibbs

Publishing Director of Lantern Books, baker, and tea aficionado.

Julie Gibbs is an Australian publishing powerhouse. She founded Lantern Books, an imprint of Penguin, in 2004 and has since published books by some of the biggest names in the Australian lifestyle, travel, food, and design realms. A warm soul, with a passion for producing seriously beautiful books, Julie’s favourite smell is the scent of chocolate cake cooking in the oven. YUM!

What did your childhood smell like?
I spent untold hours reading those cheap Dent hardbacks of Enid Blyton stories (clearly an early addiction formed for the smell of printer’s ink on paper!) with my head against a feather cushion. I love the smell of down pillows.

What scent has the power to stop you in your tracks and immediately transport you to a memory/moment/feeling?
Apricot jam cooking in late December… It reminds me of those long summer holidays as a child when time had a very different meaning.

What did your grandmother smell like?
My mother’s mother Peg taught me to make little posies of violets from the garden beneath her kitchen window. When I smell violets I always think of her.

What does your kitchen smell like?
I have a new kitchen and in this warm weather whenever I open the pantry cupboard I smell my favourite Amadei dark cooking chocolate.

What does happy smell like?
Chocolate cake in the oven. I love the alchemy of baking.

What does your favourite place in the world smell like?
The smell of Eucalyptus on a warm afternoon in the Blue Mountains.

What is your least favourite smell?
We had an ointment when I was growing up called Ungvita – it worked very much like pawpaw ointment. The memory of it makes me gag.

What does love smell like?
Every weekend I roast a chook for my husband Mr Blue Eyes. Love smells like that ritual that we both hold on to.