Bookish Matters

The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.

—Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Fragrance of Old Books

There are a number of perfumes inspired by books and libraries. Here are a few of them:

Paperback by Demeter Fragrance ("A dusty old copy of a Barbara Pym novel did it for us. This Demeter scent is sweet and just a touch musty, a lot like Pym's world come to think of it. Read her if you haven't. Her writing is wonderful, if slightly musty, English satire from the 60s and 70s.")

In the Library by CB I Hate Perfume ("In The Library is a subtle scent, and it’s not so much the exact recreation of the musty, antique smell of the pages of old book as much as it is the entire book…a hint of worn leather bindings, a whisper of the frayed cloth and the wisp of wood polish from the shelves it sits on and even a bit of sweetness we can’t place.")

Opus II—Library Collection by Amouage ("A majestic Fougère inspired by the heady and evocative fragrances of old books, dark wooden shelves and antique leather armchairs. Opus II opens with a rare and magical combination of Pepper, Pink Bay, Absinth and Lavender in the top notes. These notes unfurl to reveal a heart of Jasmine, Rose, Cinnamon and Cardamom. The base of Cedarwood, Amber, Frankincense and Patchouli conclude the fragrance with a soft, smoky, masculinity that contrast beautifully with the floral heart notes.")

Hamman Bouquet by Penhaligons ("It is warm and mature, redolent of old books, powdered resins and ancient rooms.")

Sacre Couer by Ego Facto ("Think old-style gentlemen’s club—cool wine, a whiff of Havana from the humidor, a deep leather chair and the comfortably musty smell of old books—perked up with a dash of humor.")

Zadig et Voltaire Tome 1 by La Pureté ("A pure and spiritual fragrance, which wraps the soul and the heart in a delightful and innocent whirl. The pack (a book) and the bottle are white. The perfume is composed in the same spirit: patchouli oil, musk, milky blends.")

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