Brianna Tosswill

Letterpress Love Letter: You smell nice

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(love note for the one who occupies your heart even when they're off your mind)

When you're in the early stages of crushing on, lusting after, falling in love with someone... it's a struggle to know which romantic thoughts should be shared, and which should be kept close, cherished, and secret.


I wrote, type-set, and printed this poem four years ago at the beginning of my relationship and have more or less kept it a secret since then! With my partner, it's better to err on the side of subtly expressed affection. Big romantic gestures can be a lot, but little love notes are just the trick.

The poem reads:

My love,

Have you ever noticed that smells
are less in the winter?
It's as if the cold air traps
the bouquets and stenches
and holds them in little bubbles
above our heads.
More likely, the cold has dulled
my senses or the things that
usually have scent are muted.
Garbage rots more slowly and
the flowers are visiting their mother
in the underworld till spring.

It's when I can't smell anything else
that I catch the barest hint of you
in places you have never been,
where no one else is around,
no imposter who shares your
taste in shampoo.
It is only in the abscence of true
smells that I notice these tricks
that my mind plays on my nose.



It is letterpress printed in cornflower blue ink on cotton rag paper in a serif type from my old studio, potentially Garamond? The letterpress printing means you can see/feel the text embossed slightly in the paper.

  • 5x8.5"
  • letterpress edition of 21
  • hand-set type
  • cornflower blue ink


Each print in the edition of 21 is signed and numbered along the bottom edge.

Would fit pretty nicely in an 8.5 x 11 " frame if you like.

Only 10 left in stock with 1 in shopping carts, order soon!