It was a busy week here and I was distracted.
Except for The Perfumer’s Story Old Books.
So we’re doing a quick look at book fragrances.
I think the idea of a perfume based on the smell of old books or libraries or book shops is attractive. But, to my mind, there aren’t many out there that are successful.
TPS Old Books is the one I find closest to reality. Most of what I have smelled (only a small number) seems to rely too much on a fruit note for no reason I really understand.
Old Books, as I mentioned briefly last week, is, as I said, dry, musty slightly sour – like walking through the stacks of a bookshop found in the backstreet of an old city. Notes, again, are frankincense, olibanum, myrrh, elemi, patchouli, amber, vetiver, cedar. The frankincense and myrrh work to smell like crumbly book pages. This is the smell of The Strand bookshop in NYC; of my childhood library; of my now gone ex-husband’s library room (with stacks) in the house we shared briefly in London. It smells like loads of books and very scuffed waxed floors. I am enjoying my purse spray and will see how things go. I can’t see myself ever buying a regular sized bottle – the small one suffices.
The only other ‘book’ scent I own is a Byredo Bibliotheque candle. To me, that does not smell like books or libraries. It’s a nice fragrance but rather pedestrian and certainly not evocative of books, etc. Notes are plum, cinnamon, leather accord, violet, birch, patchouli and vanilla. I guess the nose thought the violet, birch and cinnamon might lend a dry, bookish aspect, but the plum up top sort of messes that up.
Other things that popped up when I was searching for book fragrances include the following (most are in the US).
Demeter Paperback. Violet and potpourri. Not sure potpourri would help with getting book smell.
Wicked Good Perfumes Old Books. Parchment, honey, coffee beans, leather accord, vanilla. The notes sound very interesting.
The Strange South Je Veux Mon Livre. Tea leaves and sage pressed in old books.
Solstice Scents Library.
Powell’s Books. Wood, violet, some thing called biblichor (apparently this is a real word that refers to the smell of old books). Apparently this is a book store on the West Coast of the US which decided to do its own perfume.
Finally, the Chase and Wonder website in the UK has a candle called The Library. Woods, amber, pink pepper and pomegranate. C&W does beautiful ceramic holders for its candles. I’ve yet to smell any of them.
So, there you go. Anyone sampled any of these? Have a book/library perfume that is reasonably realistic they love? More suggestions?
Pic from Pexels