Paper Passion

You would think that as someone that spent something like 17 years (18! I had that 5th year of college you get stuck with if you change majors, and that, conveniently, no one remembers to tell you about!) in school (and yes, I am including kindergarten, because don’t try to tell me “sharing” isn’t a hard thing to learn; kindergarten totally counts) I’d be better about that thing that all students do called “procrastinating” and dealing with the anxiety that comes along with it. To wit: my French teacher assigned plus de l’homework last week, and I waited until last night before I was leaving for French class to do it. And yes, it definitely inspired dream-sweats of “Oh my god, I didn’t do my homework, I’ll try to do it in class so she won’t notice. OH NO, SHE FOUND OUT.” But I haven’t learned. I repeated a mantra the whole way home from last night’s class, a la Bart Simpson, “I will do my homework early this week. I will do my homework early this week.” What is French for “lol yeah right”?

In related news, French class continues to kick my le ass. After class, one of the other students told me my accent was “like, perfect” which was, like, awesome. Rachel, the teacher, is insistent that we don’t write things down, that we get used to the sounds, the pronunciation, that writing it down is not learning to speak the language. She’s working to get us off the page.

And speaking of page (check out that segue!), over the weekend when I wasn’t busy drowning my liver, I read an essay by author Oliver Sacks in the NYTimes Book Review section called “Reading the Fine Print.” This quote in particular stood out to me, “I do not want a Kindle or a Nook or an iPad…I want a real book made of paper with print — a book with heft, with a bookish smell, as books have had for the last 550 years, a book that I can slip into my pocket or keep with its fellows on my bookshelves where my eye might alight on it at unexpected times.” This sums up my entire opinion on the death of the printed book (alleged death, as I am single handedly keeping my local Barnes & Noble in business) and the rise of those awful, awful contraptions known as e-readers. I love books. I love the feel of them, the soft whisping noise the pages make as you turn them, and most of all, I love the smell.

So when my friend Audrey (the comment-artist known as Gary Oldman) alerted me to the existence of a perfume THAT SMELLS LIKE BOOKS, I just about lost my mind.

It’s called Paper Passion, byt Steidl, with packaging is by Karl Lagerfeld. And oh my god, the packaging. It’s a book with stunning orange pages, notched in the shape of the bottle.

The write up says,”This is an opportunity to celebrate all the gloriosensuality 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. 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.” Okay, that’s a little frou-frou (gloriosensuality!?), and at $98 a bottle to smell like dusty paper, it’s probably not something I’d buy myself as a necessity. But I wouldn’t kick it out of the house if it somehow appeared in my Christmas stocking.

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December 18, 2012 / fashion / vanity / LEAVE A COMMENT / 14

14 comments

  • This is so very clever – is there no end to Karl Lagerfeld’s talents?! It seems everything he touches results in utter fabulousness, for want of a better word.

    Glad to hear French class is going well – time management issues aside. You must be a dab hand if you can dash off homework last minute! :D xo

  • To wear the smell of a book is something very chic – huh? really? I’m not convinced!
    Karl Lagerfeld is very cool.
    I love real books too but they are tres inconvenient to carry around. I’m eyeing up an ipad mini :)

  • like yourself, i’m a bit of an old-school smelly book loving fiend (except those really old ones that used paper that feels like chalk dragged down a chalkboard sounds)… but i have tried a kindle and i can definitely see the appeal in that too… but i’m holding off… i don’t want to see books die a death! i think this idea is sweet… not sure who wants to smell like this (except maybe you?), but i’m a sucker for packaging so that alone got me!

  • holy shit! i want that. i need it to put into my time capsule in case they stop making real books someday and i can gather my grandchildren around my feet and pull out my box and spritz a little book smell into the air and say “and that’s what they used to smell like.” for real i want that perfume. and the packaging is fabulous.

  • A perfume that smells of a book, really? Does it smell like old paper or new paper with a hint of print ????

    I love a book, I love the smell too. I cannot resist opening a new one (or a magazine for that matter) and giving it a good sniff.

    Hubster wants a kindle for Christmas and I’ve buckled and bought it for him. Eugh.

    Bravo on the French lessons. I can’t imagine taking a course and not writing anything down, but I can see that it would be a distraction (or a hiding place). x

  • I have very mixed feelings on the book/Kindle debate. It’s sort of like when I get asked what’s my favorite color…can I like both? I like both. I love reading books for the sensory experience of it, but you can’t beat the convenience of the kindle (I’m eyeing that trip to Paris you’re making in a few months, Missy). And yet there have been books I’ve downloaded to my kindle that I then needed to have in full-on book form. So I get it; I totally get it. Still, I think I’d need a whiff of that perfume before committing.

  • Wow!! I’m dying to smell this perfume now as I’m intrigued. And it’s a beautiful concept. One of my favourite smells is actually the pages of magazines, do you think they’ll do a follow up?

  • I agree with Chi, is there no end to this man’s genius? I would, like, totally wear that perfume. And, I would buy the candle, room spray, and car freshener. Ok, now go to do your homework.
    PS~No surprises on GG last night. Well, one. Though, you might be smarter than me and figured it out. I know it had to end (the show ran its course), but it’s still kind of sad.

  • I would love to smell like a book. ;-) ;-) nudge nudge

  • I love books, the feel and the smell. But I have to say getting a kindle/nook still is pretty tempting, especially when I am reading in a crowded train, holding onto a bar with one hand and the book in the other and I have to let go of the bar to turn the page. With the electronic reader you only need one hand. I could mist the kindle with the perfume to make it more convincing ;)

  • Whaaat? Is that for real?? You have to try out Erin and let us know how it is.
    And it would kill me if I couldn’t write things down – when I’m in any sort of classroom/learning scenario, I always have to write it all down.

  • I hope it appears in your stocking! xo Teri

  • I’ve been hunting this stuff for a while now! It was on German Amazon (how desp was I) by some sellers for some ludicrous amount but I passed, since the comments (admittedly in German, and they are a notoriously unsatisfied people) mentioned that it smelled like “dreck” a lot. They also mentioned “gestank”. I faltered. Nicht cool.

    But, I’m totally with you on the Kindle thing. Hate them. Even though Ban’s books took up about 70% of our moving box total, to see him sniffing each one with love and sitting happily with a mug and one in his hand is somehow a comfort. Imagine if he pulled out an ugly grey tablet. “Ok, that’s my office done.” Fuh! The only ONLY ONNNNLY time I would say an e-reader would be sort of worth it, was if you were reading Proust. A La Recherche du Temps Perdu is FACKING ENORMOUS. I pity anyone carrying that around to lectures or for pleasure. But I suppose living in a cork-lined room for years and years, you have lots of “temps” to write books that could be hollowed out and LIVED IN. Oh Marcel, you ole’ so-n-so. *shoulder punch*

    Did I just shoulder punch Proust in a blog comment? YOU BET YOUR ASS I DID.

  • […] This piece in Sunday’s T Magazine made dizzy with house envy. We all know Olympia Le Tan for her adorable (and prohibitively expensive) hand embroidered book clutches, but I shamefully was unfamiliar with her father’s work as an illustrator. Both of their homes were featured in a stunning spread in the magazine, and it should be no surprise that their 16eme and 9eme apartments (his and hers, respectively) are fantastic and drool-worthy. Herringbone floors, layers of Turkish rugs, books everywhere. My own father’s apartment was swimming with books, stacked 5 deep in some places, and I miss how cozy that was. Also, the smell of books. But we’ve been over that before. […]