Everyone has favourite smells…smells that bring back memories, emotions, situations, feelings…positive and negative, powerful and subtle…smells that bring tears to your eyes, smells that bring a smile to your face…as you take a deep breath in. For me, one is the smell of fresh print in a new book or magazine…the excitement as you pick it up, open and flick through its pages to find a full colour image, and then stop to take in a full breath of its printed glory. Perfect, and I’m smiling now just thinking about it. Sometimes onlookers give you a strange stare, other times you get a smile of acknowledgement as they share the same love. I know I’m not absurd in my ritual.
Publisher Gerhard Steidl, perfumer Geza Schoen and Wallpaper* magazine picked up on this “love”, collaborating to launch ‘Paper Passion’, a unisex perfume for booklovers with packaging by Karl Lagerfeld and Steidl. As soon as I read about this I wondered why no one had created this before. It apparently ‘tells the story of a passion and a twisting plot to put the particular bouquet of freshly printed books in a bottle. Gerhard Steidl was first alerted to the importance of the smell of a book by Karl Lagerfeld, prompting a passion for paper and the composition of a scent on the pages of a book. To Wallpaper* magazine the pairing of the publisher with the perfumer seemed a natural partnership and so the idea for ‘Paper Passion’ was born. Wallpaper* magazine commissioned master perfumer Geza Schoen to create a fragrance based on the smell of books as an opportunity to celebrate all the glorious sensuality of books, at a time when many in the industry are turning against them. The idea is that is should relax you, like when you read a book, to a level of meditation and concentration.’
I want someone to buy me a bottle so I can go around Shanghai, and wherever else I negotiate in the world, “wearing” paper and fresh print…holding the perfume of words and intellect on my clothes…the beauty and design of books on my skin. I want to meditate in it’s scent right now. What are your favourite smells?
“You have a book, you open it, there’s a bottle inside and it smells of a book. It might be quirky, but the idea has a simplicity, a linearity.” – Geza Schoen
“The smell of a freshly printed book is the best smell in the world.” – Karl Lagerfeld