"A combination of grassy notes with a tang of acids and a hint of vanilla over an underlying mustiness"
April 23, 2012 10:51 AM   Subscribe


 
The smell of old books is awesome-- it should be made into a fragrance for rooms. I love the woody and musty smell on paper.

BTW- nice pullout quote!
posted by ichomp at 10:56 AM on April 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


He forgot to mention the aromatic contributions from hallucinogenic fungal spores.
posted by Panjandrum at 10:58 AM on April 23, 2012


it should be made into a fragrance for rooms.

Warning: the Merchandise buyers at my store ordered some of this stuff and apparently it was somehow defective.
posted by jonmc at 11:00 AM on April 23, 2012


The smell of old books is awesome-- it should be made into a fragrance for rooms.

This comes in room spray!
posted by padraigin at 11:01 AM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


it should be made into a fragrance for rooms.

If they want to get the fetishists, they need to add the smell to e-book reader sleeves.
posted by pracowity at 11:02 AM on April 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


The book smell I recall much more vividly was this off-putting, faintly vomit-like smell all of the books in my local library branch had back when I was a kid. I always assumed they treated the books with some kind of preservative or something.

Nice informative video.
But, wtf YouTube??? Still with the stuttering in the embedded player? Vimeo doesn't do it.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:08 AM on April 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


This goes for comic books too! I can tell the difference between comic books stored in an attic and comic books stored in a basement. I can also tell when comics have been stored outside in a shed, garage or barn. But the best smell of old comic books is when they just smell like paper, having been stored somewhere between the attic and the basement. That's the smell of old paper I like best.
posted by Ron Thanagar at 11:15 AM on April 23, 2012


No, madame, you smell, old books stink.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:24 AM on April 23, 2012


What was it in my textbooks, then, that smelled like formaldehyde? Preserving wisdom?
posted by resurrexit at 11:35 AM on April 23, 2012


I've worked either in a book store or library my entire adult life and I love the smell of old books. But I've been witness to a surprisingly large percentage of people who walk into my place of employ and seem to be, let's say... gastro-disastrously affected by one or several of those hundreds of volatile organic compounds. They'll wander for a about 5 minutes, shift uncomfortably, set down whatever they were perusing with haste and look up and around for the nearest public privy. Something about that aroma must aid digestion, or be so pleasing as to greatly relax people or... what? What about the smell of old books does that?
posted by carsonb at 11:39 AM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


old books stink

A waft of DFW's oeuvre contain foot notes.
posted by hal9k at 11:44 AM on April 23, 2012


What about the smell of old books does that?

We've discussed this before.
posted by Rangeboy at 11:47 AM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


"A combination of grassy notes with a tang of acids and a hint of vanilla over an underlying mustiness"

that'll be the missus after we've spent two nights at Glasto...
posted by gallus at 12:06 PM on April 23, 2012


Because the goodness is compressed over time and leaks out to attract readers.
posted by sotonohito at 12:15 PM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why Do Old Books Smell?
Listen sonny, if you'd been continually rifled by greasy fingers, crumpled, bent and twisted and then stored in a damp garage for several years you would too. I know I do.
posted by gallus at 12:20 PM on April 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


What about the smell of old books does that?

We've discussed this before.


Man this happens to me every time I go in a bookstore. EVERY TIME.
posted by holdkris99 at 12:36 PM on April 23, 2012


It's because you read on the toilet. That makes so much sense!
posted by carsonb at 12:42 PM on April 23, 2012


I wonder what old Kindles and Nooks will smell like?
posted by Splunge at 12:43 PM on April 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


I like the smell of old books.

But at the same time I think I am slightly allergic to them. There are certain old books printed on what I assume is cheap paper that I can only read for maybe half an hour or so before I start sneezing all the time.
posted by madcaptenor at 1:43 PM on April 23, 2012


The best way I've found for storing my books is to sell them to someone else, and buy the digital versions instead.
posted by crunchland at 1:47 PM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wonder what old Kindles and Nooks will smell like?

Bit rot.
posted by pracowity at 12:57 AM on April 24, 2012


I… I actually ordered Demeter's Paperback scent for the purpose of spraying it on the case for my Kindle.
posted by nicepersonality at 2:16 PM on April 24, 2012


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