July 13, 2012

New perfume for book lovers available this week


Paper Passion evokes the scent of fresh paper and comes packaged inside a real book.

A few months ago, we posted a video that explained where old books get their distinctive, musty smell that so many people love. Now, for people who prefer brand new books, there’s a perfume out that will let you keep their scent with you all day.

New York’s Daily News reports that fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld came up with the name Paper Passion, which launched on July 12 in Wallpaper magazine’s annual Handmade issue. It was actually at Wallpaper‘s Handmade exhibition in Milan last year that the idea for the perfume originated, when German publisher Gerhard Steidl remarked that his favorite scent was a “freshly printed book.”

Since then, Steidl has been working with perfumer Geze Schoen on perfecting the scent, using only four or five ingredients. Synthesizing paper’s unique aroma was apparently not an easy task. Schoen explained, “The smell of printed paper is dry and fatty; they are not notes you often work with.”

Famed couturier Lagerfeld designed the packaging for the perfume, placing it inside a real book with pages (with short essays on the subject of paper by Lagerfeld, Schoen, German author and artist Günter Grass, and Wallpaper editor-in-chief Tony Chambers) and a compartment cut out of the middle to store the bottle.

In his essay, Lagerfeld rhapsodizes, “Beautiful paper is for me the top of luxury … I am a paper freak. It’s a physical passion. I cannot live without paper. Touching perfect paper has something sensuous about it.”

For anybody who shares Lagerfeld’s ardor (and has $98 to spare), Paper Passion has just gone on sale online and in select concept stores, bookshops and perfumeries.


Nick Davies was a publicist at Melville House.