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Smells like the library: Paper is the next big perfume trend


Smells like the library: Paper is the next big perfume trend
Paper is the latest unconventional element informing a number of perfume relelases

Forget the gentle and traditional scent of gentle crushed rose petals.

Even the wildly popular (and often fairly similar) blend of white florals that informs many new fragrance releases.

The latest trend in perfumery is something a little left of center.

If you’ve ever opened a book and leaned a little closer for a whiff, you’re in luck. That, or you revel in the joy in the possibilities a clean piece or paper and a pen provide.

A new release by French fragrance brand Diptyque has cemented the approach of a number of niche perfumers to try and capture the scent of paper, or books.

If your mind immediately jumps to all things musty and old, rest assured. The main approach is for something more clean and light, though yes, some scents do play with subtle base notes of musk and vanilla.

L’Eau Papier is Diptyque’s first new scent launch in two years and celebrates the power of the imagination and creation. The brand says it is about ‘capturing the moment, suspended in time, when ink, paper and the hand become one’.

Instead of a fusty old library, its more like pulling a fresh sheet of expensive stationary out of the leather holder to start a thank you note.

To acknowledge the rise in similar scents, here are some other paper or book-inspired scents:

Diptyque L’Eau Papier EDT

White musks are delicately faceted by an accord of rice steam, evoking the grain of the paper, according to the brand. To these are added luminous notes of mimosa, while a backdrop of blonde wood tones grounds L’Eau Papier in the material itself.  In the spirit of individuality many of us are looking to truly create a ‘signature’ scent, L’Eau Papier will produce different results from one skin to another and over time, thanks to the way the white musks continue developing and unfolding.

BYREDO Bibliothèque EDP

More focused on a home of all that paper, or more specifically books, Byredo’s warm and mature Bibliothèque is an ode to classic old wood-panelled libraries, loaded with leather-bound books and worn armchairs. Top notes are plum and peach; middle notes are violet and peony and its base notes are leather, patchouli, vanilla and musk.

Maison Margiela Whispers In The Library EDT

Perfect for the cooler months, this perfumes is said to be nspired by the scent of wax, wood and paper. Pepper notes combine with woody and warm notes of cedar and vanilla to again, recreate the atmosphere of an classic and mysterious library. A sophisticated cedarwood essence in the base recreates the scent of the wooden desk at which you might sit and read.


Commodity Fragrances Paper

Perfumer Donna Ramanauskas says her inspiration for creating this scent for US fragrance brand Commodity came from writing a letter to a loved one. “Deep in thought, remembering the memories, the heartfelt scent of Paper was created by a combination of rich cedarwood, sandalwood and amber enhancing that warm and cozy feeling while writing.” The scent, like each of the other releases from the niche brand is available in three different strengths: Personal, Expressive and Bold.

Demeter Paperback Cologne

Demeter’s famous single-note scents are combinations of the fewest ingredients that comprise a recognisable smell. This is a very simple recreation of a trip to a bookstore or thumbing through a worn copy of a favourite novel, capturing the sweet and dry scent with a sprinkling of violets and a dash of tasteful potpourri.



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