Wednesday, November 12, 2014

B.O.

In this instance, B.O. stands for book odor rather than body odor, but you will learn that the two can be synonymous. The strangely intoxicating aroma that haunts libraries and used bookstores has been studied by chemists because it can indicate the "health" of antique books. The website Compound Interest notes that "benzaldehyde adds an almond-like scent; vanillin adds a vanilla-like scent; ethyl benzene and toluene impart sweet odours; and 2-ethyl hexanol has a ‘slightly floral’ contribution. Scientists are less able to generalize about "new book smell" because of the hundreds of compounds that can be used during the manufacture of the paper, in the inks used to print the book, and in the adhesives used in the book-binding process. But if, in fact, you want to smell like a newly printed tome, you are in luck. Wallpaper* magazine commissioned master perfumer Geza Schoen to create a fragrance based on the smell of books. The descriptive copy about the scent (AVAILABLE HERE) reads, "This is an opportunity to celebrate all the glorious sensuality of books....The idea is that it should relax you, like when you read a book, to a level of meditation and concentration. Paper Passion has evolved into something quite beautiful and unique. To wear the smell of a book is something very chic. Books are players in the intellectual world, but also in the world of luxury. "

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