There Is A Perfume That Smells Like Old Books And Bookworms Are All About It

By lheidi - August 05, 2019

We love the smell of old books. That’s one of the main reasons why we don’t want to see bookstores go away. There’s nothing like finding a random old bookstore filled with rare and unique books that – best of all – smell all musty and old. It’s like if wisdom were an odor. There’s nothing else like it. Not even the smell after it rains can compare to the odor that emanates from the yellowing pages of an old book. Sometimes we love cracking open a book just so we can smell it while we read it. There have been so many books that we’ve finished just because we want to sniff the pages while we read the world. It’s a multi-sensory experience.

We’re not alone in how much we love old books. In fact, there are so many people who love the smell of old books that there’s even a perfume…

Passion For Paper


Some people just have a passion for paper, which is probably the logic behind Paper Passion Perfume.

Paper Passion Perfume is a new scent that is supposed to smell like paper, or rather, a stack of old books to be exact.

Some people are into some really unusual scents, and the perfume industry knows that. Some people are really into cut grass. Other people are really into gasoline. And some people just really love a stack of old books.

Paper Passion For Him


According to the makers of Paper Passion Perfume, the scent was crafted to smell like a “unique bouquet of freshly printed books.”

The scent was created by boutique perfumer Geza Schoen who worked with Gerhard Steidl and Wallpaper magazine to bottle the odor of old books.

Schoen has 20 years of experience in perfume, but we’re not sure how many years of experience they have browsing through old bookstores. It better be a lot to capture the essence.

For The First Time


The makers of this scent really thought about the experience that they want to capture.

“[T]he perfume expresses that peculiar mix of paper and ink which gives a book its unmistakable aroma, along with the fresh scent which a book opened for the first time releases,” says the Paper Passion Perfume website.

You’re not just spraying a scent on you. You’re spraying an experience, and that’s different. They can charge more for an experience. A helluva a lot more.

Wearable Art


Perfecting the scent of old books doesn’t come easy. You can’t just put a book in a juicer and get its essence.

In order to create the scent, “Schoen spent days in the depths of the paper-filled Steidl headquarters in Göttingen, sifting through books, papers samples and inks, to find inspiration for a perfume that is true to books, wearable, and which ages well in time just like a good book.”

What century did this take place in? The 1600s?

Try, Try Again


Schoen didn’t get it right on the first time. In fact, it took them 17 tries to get it right.

Although, we’d probably just be happy with crumpling up a ball of paper and then rubbing that on our neck.

“It took Schoen seventeen trials to preserve in his words, the right balance between the smell of paper as such and an enjoyable perfumistic aesthetic,” says the Paper Passion Perfume website. If at first you don’t succeed…

Look Book


Paper Passion Perfume doesn’t just smell like an old book. It looks like one, too.

“The elaborate packaging of Paper Passion Perfume does more than justice to the perfume within. The packaging is a real book with a hidden cut-out compartment in which the bottle sits,” says the website.

So don’t get confused and try to read Paper Passion Perfume. It’s an honest mistake that could happen to anyone. We won’t judge you if you try to read it on accident.

Book Worm


Although, if you did want to read your Paper Passion Perfume, you actually could do it

“The packaging is a real book with a hidden cut-out compartment in which the bottle sits,” says the website. Ah ha! We knew it didn’t just smell like book!

“The first pages of the book contain texts on the pleasures of paper and the Paper Passion project by Nobel Laureate Günter Grass, Karl Lagerfeld, Geza Schoen and Wallpaper* Editor-in-Chief Tony Chambers.”

The Cost Of Doing Business


If you want to buy Paper Passion Perfume, it’ll set you back by 125 Euros, or $140.

Seriously, going to an old book stores and rubbing yourself all over the books is much cheaper. It’s also a lot more frowned upon, but it’s also definitely cheaper.

Of course, the sell of old book isn’t the only weird scent that people love. Click through to see some of the other weird scents that people have enjoyed as well.



Intellectually, we know that gasoline is really bad for you. And we know that you shouldn’t lean into get a good whiff.

But for some reason, some people just love the smell of gasoline. We don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s the danger of it all?

It’s so wrong, and yet, it feels so right. If someone ever made a gasoline perfume, we’d spray it all over ourselves while being worried if someone switched the bottle with actual gasoline.

Nail Polish


There’s just something about walking into a nail salon and smelling the familiar stink that comes with it.

It smells like a combination of nail polish, nail polish remover, and chemicals that are probably illegal in seven countries, including this one.

We don’t even mind that getting your nails done takes a long time, because that just means that we get to sit in that wonderfully awful and awfully wonderful smell that is probably also going to give us cancer.



You’re not supposed to sniff markers. Your parents probably told you that when you were a kid.

But we would always be caught taking the caps off of our sharpies and sniffing them. It wasn’t because we were trying to get high. Far from it.

It’s because we loved the smell of sharpies so much. It’s so unmistakable. You know if you’re using a sharpie or a cheap knock off just by that signature and pleasant scent.



We love it when it’s summer, because we get to go swimming. And we love going swimming because we get to smell chlorine.

It’s always possible that we don’t actually really like the smell of chlorine. We just associate the smell with positive memories of dipping in the pool when we were kids.

But then again, we could just really, really like the smell of chlorine as it is. There’s no real way of knowing for sure.

Rain Storms


A lot of people love the smell after it rains. There’s even a word for that phenomenon.

Petrichor is defined as “the earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil.” So obviously, we’re not the first people to have thought about this.

Is there a support group for people who love the smell of fresh rain? Maybe a Petrichor Lovers Anonymous kind of thing? We’re not the only ones who feel this way. It would be great to connect with others.



The only smell that’s better than fire is the smell of fire after it’s been put out.

Sometimes we’ll light matches just so we can blow them out and smell that post-fire smell. But our love of extinguished fire doesn’t just stop at matches.

We also love the smell of campfires after they’ve been put out. If there’s a forest fire, we’re going to be there, standing right behind the firefighters, trying to take in that smoky scent.

Your Own B.O.


Everyone secretly loves them smell of their own B.O. You can admit it. We just did.

When you smell your own stink, you pretend to be disgusted, because you know everyone around you thinks that your body odor smells gross.

But when nobody’s looking, you lift up your arm and take a deeper whiff. Because for some reason, you enjoy how you smell au natural. Your sweat pits are not gross to you, just everyone around you.