Dispatches from the Digital Revolution
So word around the stacks is that there’s a new fragrance on the shelves called “Paper Passion,” a perfume inspired by the smell of books.
Yes, you heard me. Literary nostalgia can now be found in a bottle. A bottle in a box that is actually a book, hollowed out but apparently still capable of being flipped through. Being a bibliophile is now sexy in that haute couture sort of way.
Paper Passion is a collaborative work by master perfumer, Geza Schoen and German publisher, Gerhard Steidl, along with Wallpaper* magazine. The packaging was designed by Karl Lagerfeld and Steidl.
“This is an opportunity to celebrate all the glorious sensuality of books, at a time when many in the industry are turning against them,” touts the Steidl website. “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.”
Chic, they say…
But the birth of Paper Passion strikes me as premature vintage branding. The digital revolution still rages on, so is this really a celebration of books or the opening strains of a requiem?
Also, will the creators merely stop at recreating the fragrance of print books in general? Consider me unimpressed, but if they begin developing perfume lines for specific books, I may be inclined to become a collector. What would Pride and Prejudice and Wuthering Heights smell like? Ah, but if we’re really going to go down this road, I’d be curious about Anna Karenina body spray. Or Brothers Karamazov cologne…
In all honesty, if I want to smell like book I’d be happy enough to roll around in them until the scent sticks.