Friday, May 20, 2016

Bottling Old Book Smells: Library Perfumes

I love the smell of old books. Don't you? I've posted before that there have been several different Book Smell perfumes, so I was pleased to see that there are even more! Of course, nothing beats being with the actual books!

“Book smell” is now a thing in the perfume world, like vanilla or sandalwood. In the last few years, dozens of products have appeared on the market to give your home or person the earthy scent of a rare book collection.

Sweet Tea Apothecaries sells Dead Writers Perfume, which promises to evoke the aroma of books old enough for their authors to have passed to the great writers’ retreat in the sky. Perfumer Christopher Brosius’s “In the Library” product line makes your home and body smell just like that. The high-end fragrance Paper Passion claims to capture the “unique olfactory pleasures of the freshly printed book,” though for roughly $200 per bottle it’s a lot cheaper to just buy a freshly printed book.

The appeal of old books’ smell has been studied in depth. Wood-based paper contains lignin, a chemical closely related to vanillin, the compound that gives vanilla its fragrance. As the pages age and the compounds break down, they release that signature scent. An experienced rare book handler can date a volume by scent alone, according to the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers.

Read more here!

Which one will you order?


Yves Fey said...

I tried to do a book scented perfume. Failed. Will try again!

Anne Louise Bannon said...

Vanillin, huh? Sounds interesting.

Alana said...

I've loved the smell of books and libraries since I was a little girl. I wonder if they will release such a scent as a fashioner for house or car.