I’ve spent a lot of time at the public library. Growing up, that’s where I pored over books both highbrow (The Beauty Myth) and lowbrow (the entire VC Andrews oeuvre), with plenty of magazines in between, from Cricket to dog-eared copies of Cosmopolitan (even before I understood “Make Him Want You Bad”). The library’s pulpy, musty smell was always soothing to me, so I was totally excited to learn that no less than Karl Lagerfeld and perfumer Geza Schoen teamed up to create Paper Passion, a fragrance inspired by “the glorious sensuality of books.”
Lagerfeld, a known bibliophile, and Schoen, the nose behind one of my favorite weird scent lines, Escentric Molecules, created Paper Passion for *Wallpaper magazine and publishing house Steidl. Appropriately, it comes packaged in a hollowed-out book.
While this is probably the coolest book-inspired fragrance I’ve ever seen (although not yet sampled), it’s not the first: Comme des Garçons Eau de Parfum smells like the glue holding together a book’s pages, and CB I Hate Perfume’s In the Library is a pretty faithful interpretation of what I imagine to be the library at *Downton Abbey: a combination of dusty leather and something vaguely sweet. *
These days, I do most of my reading on a Kindle, which sadly lacks that visceral experience that a real book gives. Maybe I should keep one of these in my bag, to spray before I power up.