Wallpaper* magazine commissioned master perfumer Geza Schoen to create a perfume for book lovers. The resulting fragrance, Paper Passion, was produced by Gerhard Steidl with packaging by Karl Lagerfeld. Lagerfeld is quoted as saying: “The smell of a freshly printed book is the best smell in the world.” Meanwhile, forever-wise film director, John Waters, is quoted as saying: “If you go home with somebody, and they don’t have books, don’t fuck them.”
Here’s the PR on the perfume:
This is an opportunity to celebrate all the gloriosensuality of books, at a time when many in the industry are turning against them. The idea is that it should relax you, like when you read a book, to a level of meditation and concentration. 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.
Hmmm. “Gloriosensuality”? While my first inclination is to note how that paragraph smells more douchey than perfumey, a quick glance at the history of Steidl leaves a warmer impression.
At age 18, designer Gerhard Steidl was influenced by Andy Warhol to start his own printing press. Today, Steidl’s company is known for its elegant art, photography and fashion books, and is one of the few independently operated publishing houses that controls every step of the manufacturing process. Gerhard Steidl remains owner of the operation, which is still located two hours north of Frankfurt, Germany with only 35 employees.
I love books. Let’s not allow them to become fossils. You don’t see people clamoring to smell like a Kindle, do you?
The Paper Passion fragrance comes inside a convenient stash box with texts by Lagerfeld, Schoen, Günter Grass and Tony Chambers. At $98 a book/bottle, Paper Passion is pricier than the late Tobias Wong’s Newspaper Candle, not as long-lasting as buying a subscription to Steidl’s book club and considerably less DIY than visiting your local purveyor of used books and rubbing the yellowed pages all over your skin. But it’s kind of fun, and if the Kardashian clan can have their own perfumes, why not books? I’m sure the profits go back into the printing press too. Available here.
Click through for militant paper propaganda!