About & Contact

Transporting readers to the past while illuminating the lives of those who are rarely acknowledged.

Marlen Elliot Harrison has long been obsessed with storytelling, ancient cultures, and perfumery. After years of selling perfume, making perfume, and writing about perfume, it makes perfect sense (scents?) that his first novel (available in 2024) explores the fictional life of the world’s earliest-documented perfumer while his second (available in 2026) recounts the life of Queen Elizabeth I’s final apothecary. Marlen also envisions a multi-sensory world for his readers, eventually bringing to life the fragrances from the novels for purchase and use.

Having earned a PhD in writing and language teaching from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (PA), Marlen also earned a Masters degree in Education and Human Development (Counseling) from The George Washington University (DC) and a Bachelors degree in Psychology from Appalachian State University (NC). In 2020, Marlen began his MFA in Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University.


Marlen’s student-centered and project-based approaches to language and composition education have led him to teaching in over 50 different academic programs at more than 15 different universities across three continents. A current graduate instructor for Southern New Hampshire University’s MA English programs and Tiffin University’s M.Ed. programs, Marlen has previously guest-lectured or taught at Florida International University (FL), Indiana University East (online), University of Jyväskylä (Finland), University of Helsinki (Finland), University of Lapland (Finland), University of Liège (Belgium), Aarhus University (Denmark), Doshisha University (Japan), University of Tampa (FL), St.Andrews University (Japan), Osaka University (Japan), Indiana University of Pennsylvania (PA), and the George Washington University (DC). In 2017 he developed the Writing Center and EAP program for the new American University of Malta. Prior to his career in education, he worked in public and mental health at institutions such as the Psychiatric Institute of Washington (DC), Johns Hopkins Hospital (MD), and the North Baltimore Center (MD).

Marlen is the recipient of numerous research and educational grants/fellowships such as a Best of JALT (Japan, 2006) award for his research examining learner autonomy and creative assessment, and international grants/honoraria to speak/teach in Canada (Simon Fraser University), Japan (Saitama University), Finland (University of Rovaniemi), Denmark (NordPlus; University of Aarhus), and Belgium (Erasmus; University of Liege). He has delivered over 80 academic presentations at international conferences and symposia, and has published more than 30 academic manuscripts including CALL-EJ (Australia), Leisure Studies (UK), and The Language Teacher (Japan).

Writing & Journalism

An active writer exploring culture, arts, and beauty, Marlen started publishing in 1996 as a freelancer for The Washington Blade. Since then, he has contributed to more than 30 international publications including BusinessInsider.com, Basenotes.com, NowSmellThis.com, MensJournal.com, MensFitness.com, Playboy.com, NYTimes.com, WSJ.com (Wall Street Journal), Forbes.com, and international publications such as Finland’s Anna and Viva magazines.

In 2015, Marlen was contracted to organize a group of international scholars to assist in the curation of a collaborative online exhibit among Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, National Postal Museum, and the US Postal service. Throughout the 2010s, he was a contributor to and Managing Editor of the Fragrantica family of websites (a magazine and database dedicated to fragrance and olfaction read by over 12 million viewers a month and published in 17 different languages), working with a staff of more than 20 international, multilingual writers. Marlen’s writing has earned him international recognition and invitations to speak at events such as the 2008 Symposium of the American Society of Perfumers in NYC and the 2016 Esxence Fragrance exhibition in Milan.


An autoethnographer whose writing has appeared in a diverse array of publications including Writing on the Edge, Reflections on English Language Teaching, The Qualitative Report, and Qualitative Research in Psychology, Marlen is the founder of The AutoEthnographer, an open-access, non-profit, peer-reviewed literary and arts magazine dedicated to presenting the creative side of autoethnography. A qualitative research method that unites autobiography and ethnography, autoethnography utilizes lived experience as evidence with which to explore cultural phenomena. The magazine seeks to become a trusted platform to share and educate readers about evocative personal expression, and to support emerging authors and artists, promote cultural diversity awareness, and celebrate creative inquiry.

After calling Japan, UK, Malta, and Finland home, he has returned to Florida, his birthplace, where he lives with his husband and dog.


You can contact Marlen for interviews, teaching, and workshops at [drmarlenharrison at gmail dot com] or by using the contact form below.