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I Love the Smell of Books in the Morning. Smells Like... Literacy.
June 7, 2009 11:35 AM   Subscribe

If you're loathe to invest in an e-Book because you long for the physicality of books, you can now purchase book perfume designed to replicate the smell of books. [via]
posted by grapefruitmoon (47 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
Also comes in "Crunchy Bacon" flavor. Not that I've ever smelled a book that smelled like bacon - reading that would just make me hungry.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 11:36 AM on June 7, 2009


I would totally buy a cologne of that.
posted by lucidium at 11:40 AM on June 7, 2009


My favorite is לוחות הברית.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 11:40 AM on June 7, 2009


Can I get some mildewy basement board game smell for my video games?
posted by fleetmouse at 11:42 AM on June 7, 2009 [5 favorites]


My favorite is לוחות הברית.

But which set?
posted by lullaby at 11:45 AM on June 7, 2009


Smell is the most powerful trigger to the memory there is. A certain flower or a whiff of smoke can bring up experiences long forgotten. Books smell ... musty and rich. The knowledge gained from a computer is ... it has no texture, no context. It's there and then it's gone. If it's to last, then the getting of knowledge should be tangible. It should be, um... smelly.
— Rupert Giles
posted by adipocere at 11:45 AM on June 7, 2009 [4 favorites]


oh bloody hell. THEY ARE EBOOKS NOT LIKE PAPER BOOKS DEAL WITH IT.

book 'perfumes' will just make the experience more surreal, not less.
posted by litleozy at 11:51 AM on June 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


I agree that this would make a great cologne/perfume, like CK1, for people who can read.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:53 AM on June 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


You know, if your book is already running on a nine-volt battery...
posted by pracowity at 11:54 AM on June 7, 2009


Mmmmmmmmm, mildew.
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:55 AM on June 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Solution looking for a problem.
posted by jamstigator at 11:56 AM on June 7, 2009


I was a little wary of "Eau You Have Cats", but it's not what you're thinking.

I like the different theme scents here. Would love to see Eau de Poe - smells like candlewax, opium and Baltimore. Mmm!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:56 AM on June 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


Just the other day I was reminiscing over the lost smell of second hand bookshops, now that the interweb has killed most of them off... don't think I'd pay money for it that soury wet cardboardy tang though
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:58 AM on June 7, 2009


call me when the ibook/iphone/ipod is 3rd generation and I can get an opensource kernal for it, I may be interested then
posted by fistynuts at 12:00 PM on June 7, 2009


For those of you who long for book-scented personal fragrance, here you go.

I can't vouch for the actual scent, but the idea is fantastic.
posted by corey flood at 12:02 PM on June 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Christopher Brosius makes quite a nice perfume called In the Library: "Russian & Moroccan leather bindings, worn cloth and a hint of wood polish."
posted by ottereroticist at 12:03 PM on June 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


Christopher Brosius has been making weird scents for several years now. He has a perfume called In the Library, but I think it's more leathery than paper. However, I am pretty sure he's worked on some of the exotic fragrances that Demeter carry, like Laundromat, or indeed Mildew.

On the CB I Hate Perfume website, check out the Accords A-Z for other great ones, like Wet Sheep or Roast Beef.
posted by bjrn at 12:05 PM on June 7, 2009


I want one that smells of new computer hardware. Mmm, outgassing.
posted by strixus at 12:08 PM on June 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Even more difficult to capture - the smell of space:
"One thing I've heard people say before, but it wasn't so obvious, was the smell right when you open up that hatch," Discovery pilot Dominic "Tony" Antonelli said after a March 21 spacewalk. "Space definitely has a smell that's different than anything else." ... "When you repressurize the airlock and get out of your suit, there is a distinct odor of ozone, a faint acrid smell," Jones told SPACE.com, adding that the smell is also similar to burnt gunpowder or the ozone smell of electrical equipment.*
I had the pleasure of operating the airlock for two of my crewmates while they went on several space walks. Each time, when I repressed the airlock, opened the hatch and welcomed two tired workers inside, a peculiar odor tickled my olfactory senses. At first I couldn't quite place it. It must have come from the air ducts that re-pressed the compartment. Then I noticed that this smell was on their suit, helmet, gloves, and tools. It was more pronounced on fabrics than on metal or plastic surfaces. It is hard to describe this smell; it is definitely not the olfactory equivalent to describing the palette sensations of some new food as "tastes like chicken." The best description I can come up with is metallic; a rather pleasant sweet metallic sensation. It reminded me of my college summers where I labored for many hours with an arc welding torch repairing heavy equipment for a small logging outfit. It reminded me of pleasant sweet smelling welding fumes. That is the smell of space.*
Nasa has commissioned Steven Pearce, a chemist and managing director of fragrance manufacturing company Omega Ingredients, to recreate the smell of space in a laboratory. ... "We have a few clues as to what space smells like. First of all, there were interviews with astronauts that we were given, when they had been outside and then returned to the space station and were de-suiting and taking off their helmets, they all reported quite particular odours.

"For them, what comes across is a smell of fried steak, hot metal and even welding a motorbike, one of them said.*
They said it is a very unique smell. As they pulled the hatch open on the Soyuz side, I smelled “SPACE.” It was strange… kind of like burned almond cookie. I said to them, “It smells like cooking” and they both looked at me like I was crazy and exclaimed:”Cooking!”

I said, “Yes… sort of like something is burning… I don’t know it is hard to explain…” *
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:23 PM on June 7, 2009 [9 favorites]


I don't think this post is complete without a discussion of the important intellectual property issues raised by this so-called "enhancement".
posted by The Bellman at 12:27 PM on June 7, 2009


Maurice Sendak once remarked that he had observed children who were given new books opening them and smelling them first, thus experiencing them with multiple senses. I hope kids will continue to have that oportunity.

Although I LOVE the smell of a fresh electronic anything right out of the box. mmmm.
posted by longsleeves at 12:45 PM on June 7, 2009


One mustn't forget the Ex Libris candle.
posted by litterateur at 12:53 PM on June 7, 2009


How about a madeleine scent dispenser for reading À la recherche du temps perdu ?
posted by lathrop at 1:09 PM on June 7, 2009


o_0
posted by liza at 1:16 PM on June 7, 2009


I have a better idea. How about ebooks (Kindle etc...) blow me.
posted by Skygazer at 1:34 PM on June 7, 2009


I like the different theme scents here. Would love to see Eau de Poe - smells like candlewax, opium and Baltimore. Mmm!

Try Lovecraft's Old Ones' Spice: ichorous secretions, ancient texts and a hint of the smell of space. Each sniff costs 1d6 SAN.
posted by permafrost at 1:54 PM on June 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


Still cannot replicate dried boogers between pages.
posted by Free word order! at 2:14 PM on June 7, 2009


One of the few outposts of civilization here in Salt Lake City is Sam Weller's Zion Bookstore. [Despite their immense amount of LDS material, secular folks will feel perfectly comfortable there.] Rough times will be forcing them out of their long-held downtown store into a smaller, more economically viable location.

Yesterday I spent more than an hour browsing through the labyrinthe shelves of the used book section, which occupies all of a connected series of basements. My greedy thrill in coming upon the 25% off Moving Sale was soured by sadness over the circumstances that made it necessary.

An hour was as long I could decently let Mother Beese wait for me, patiently flipping a fashion magazine in the tiny coffee shop. I could have stayed there until closing, if I'd had the time. You know that Twilight Zone episode where Burgess Meredith has the library to himself after the nuclear war? Like that.

I don't know about your heaven. But my heaven smells like Sam Weller's used book section. And if e-books ever do replace printed ones - not a thing I see happening in any pressingly near future - I'm not embarrassed to say that we would be losing something valuable, for whatever we might be gaining.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:22 PM on June 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


One of the few outposts of civilization here in Salt Lake City is Sam Weller's Zion Bookstore. [Despite their immense amount of LDS material, secular folks will feel perfectly comfortable there.]

I'll be in the faggot section. What? There's no faggot section? Call yourself a bookstore. Hmph. Also, non-Latter Day Saints believing is not the same thing as secular.
posted by longsleeves at 2:37 PM on June 7, 2009


longsleeves: "I'll be in the faggot section. What? There's no faggot section?"

There's some faggot erotica adjacent to the "normal" erotica hidden away in a nook under the staircase. [And 25% off, folks!]

So it's a section.... sort of. Just a very small one.

If that feels "whites only" to you, I respect your feelings. But please notice that Sam Weller's bookstore, even if it is your "enemy", is also a desperately needed resource for your allies.
posted by Joe Beese at 3:18 PM on June 7, 2009


That smell of space, that would be the smell of the sun i'm guessing, hot metallic, fried steak thats not space thats your hydrogen fusion reactor there that gives off that smell.

any other astrophysics questions, feel free

incidentally the purveyors of this perfume seem to have confused physicality with smell. If I miss the physicality of something, I cant replace the physicality with a smell. This most I can do, to labour this point interminably, is to replace the lack of smell with a smell. OK its one sense out of five, but not a premium one. Far more important would be the ability to scrawl obscene things about your teacher before handing the book back to the librarian.
posted by criticalbill at 3:42 PM on June 7, 2009


That smell of space, that would be the smell of the sun i'm guessing, hot metallic, fried steak thats not space thats your hydrogen fusion reactor there that gives off that smell.

I was thinking the smell as described resembles a combination of any number of residual gases peeling off of the Earth's atmosphere, or the resulting reaction of sunlight hitting the surface of the Earth's atmosphere. Seems more believable than the Sun, which is millions of miles away from Earth, giving off an odor that spans that far.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:18 PM on June 7, 2009


I wonder if it makes you need to go to the bathroom..
posted by SpookyFish at 4:54 PM on June 7, 2009


I'm currently reading Oscar's Books, which goes into some detail about his love for books-as-objects. I can see eau de book being a great way of getting his attention.

(On the other hand, apprently he used to eat the books. No, really - there are little torn-off bits in surviving volumes with accompanying stores about Wilde absentmindendly tearing bits off the pages to taste them.)
posted by rodgerd at 5:27 PM on June 7, 2009


That Author's Guild letter is a joke, right? Right? Please tell me it's a joke.
posted by formless at 5:52 PM on June 7, 2009


Not only am I loathe, I'm also loath.

/pedantic
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:58 PM on June 7, 2009


A friend of mine actually bought this perfume. It smells good, but I wouldn't say it smells singularly of books. It's more of a I'm-a-librarian-who-uses-nice-soaps kind of smell.
posted by delicate_dahlias at 6:14 PM on June 7, 2009


I have the "In the Library Perfume" and like it just fine. Though if you're looking for straight up book smell, you want the "English Novel" accord.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:42 PM on June 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


That Author's Guild letter is a joke, right? Right? Please tell me it's a joke.

Well, the dateline on the story is "April 1st."
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 7:56 PM on June 7, 2009


Also comes in "Crunchy Bacon" flavor. Not that I've ever smelled a book that smelled like bacon - reading that would just make me hungry.

I *have* smelled books that happen to smell *exactly* like bacon. I work in book repair/conservation and I always come across books that have a sort of smokey scent to them, very similar to bacon or campfires. It took me forever to realize that most of the books were pre-1900 and they were almost always works of fiction. I'm still not sure exactly why this is, but I've narrowed it down to a few option. Either the books were in rooms with fireplaces and were subjected to smoke everyday for years, or they were saved from house fires without being too smoke-damaged.
posted by arcolz at 10:29 PM on June 7, 2009


I really want a fragrance that smells like telephones. Perhaps it's the deodoriser and not the appliance that smells like what I imagine, but I love it.
posted by mippy at 3:54 AM on June 8, 2009


How about the smell of magazines? That's my addiction.
posted by LittleMissItneg at 6:28 AM on June 8, 2009


Or the smell of vinyl records. New and old.
posted by Skygazer at 6:56 AM on June 8, 2009


I *have* smelled books that happen to smell *exactly* like bacon.

I like for books about the West and cowboys, to have a smoky mesquite gunpowdery quality to them and my murder mysteries to smell like tea.
posted by Skygazer at 7:00 AM on June 8, 2009


I never thought the CB I Hate Perfumes perfumes were all that good-- give me a headache...

But Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, on the other hand, has some great ones-- Dee, The Buggre All This Bible, Miskatonic University and others...
posted by WidgetAlley at 9:50 AM on June 8, 2009


I'm going to wait until they come out with the "National Geographic" scent.
posted by Kabanos at 10:30 AM on June 8, 2009


Space has a smell? Awesome!

The new over-sized paperback books I get smell really similar to sourdough bread. There's something more to it than that, but it's really delicious.
posted by deborah at 5:49 PM on June 11, 2009


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