Thursday, March 14, 2013

Old Book Scent

A new scent from Geza Schoen and Gerhard Steidl, with packaging by Karl Lagerfeld, is called "Paper Passion." And yes, it is supposed to smell like old books. Meaning — not the cheap mass-produced books of our generation, but the beautifully textured, leather bound, and slightly musty books of old. Although a name like "Paper Passion" sounds rather fetishistic, there is science behind loving the scent.

"Lignin, the stuff that prevents all trees from adopting the weeping habit, is a polymer made up of units that are closely related to vanillin. When made into paper and stored for years, it breaks down and smells good. Which is how divine providence has arranged for secondhand bookstores to smell like good quality vanilla absolute, subliminally stoking a hunger for knowledge in all of us."
           —From Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez’s Perfumes: the guide

So, come on everyone, spritz a little on yourself and smell like a library. Or better yet, spray a little on your e-reader and inhale the deceit deeply.