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5 Favorites: Literary-Inspired Fragrances


5 Favorites: Literary-Inspired Fragrances

Alexa Hotz January 23, 2013

There is something alluring about the scent of hundred-year-old books and decaying parchment. Something so evocative that the scent has been bottled by some of our favorite perfume purveyors; here are five ways to surround yourself (or your home) with that elusive aroma.

Above: Conceived by German publisher Gerhard Steidl (along with his friends Geza Schoen and Karl Lagerfeld), Paper Passion captures the scent of a freshly printed book. As perfumer Schoen says, "the smell of printed paper is dry and fatty, they are not notes you often work with." And if you haven't seen Lagerfeld's library, you can catch it in Diane Keaton's post: Seeing Different: The Artful Home Library.

Above L: Charles Baudelaire. Above R: Byredo's perfume Baudelaire carries notes of juniper berry, black pepper, caraway, leather, and papyrus; $145 for 50ml from Barney's New York.

Above: Miller Harris' L'Air de Rien "is the fragrant expression of Jane Birkin's life and style, evoking the nostalgia of dusty libraries and old books"; it's $94.19 from Fragrance Net.

Above: Astier de Villatte's La Tournelle was inspired by "heavy doors upon ancient rooms of polished wooden wainscoting and opulent libraries," with a blend of Cyprus and Greenheart notes and an accord of "Parchment DNA." The glass candle is $82 from Barney's New York.

Above: CB I Hate Perfume's In the Library is a warm blend of English novel, Russian and Moroccan leather bindings, worn cloth, and a hint of wood polish. Prices range from $12 for 2ml to $90 for the 15ml size directly from CB I Hate Perfume; also available at Book/Shop.

Above: Byredo's Bibliotheque Fragranced Candle features a base of patchouli, leather, and vanilla; a heart of violet and peony; and top notes of peach and plum for $65. For more about Byredo, see World's Least Likely Perfumer?

Above: Demeter's Paperback fragrance includes "a touch of the musty smell of aged paper"; prices start at $10 for a .29oz roll-on perfume vial.

N.B.: Looking for a room to fill with the scent of books? Find 378 inspiration images of Home Libraries in our Gallery of rooms and spaces.

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