Is there any smell better than that of an old book? For voracious readers, the answer is a firm no. There’s just something so comforting, so inviting, about the scent that wafts up from the pages of a great paperback. It should come as no surprise, then, that more than a few perfumers have created fragrances that smell like old books, because what’s a good fragrance if not comforting and inviting?
The following are six beautiful perfumes that were inspired by the smell of old books and literary characters.
Commodity Book, $99 for 3.4 oz
If you’re not acquainted with Commodity perfumes, you need to hunt them down at your nearest Sephora ASAP. Each Commodity fragrance was inspired by everyday objects, like tea, whiskey, and moss, and they were created to be worn alone or layered with other scents (click here to read our associate editor Sara’s review of Commodity Gold perfume). Book was made with the writers Hemingway and Fitzgerald in mind, and it features notes of cucumber, eucalyptus, bergamot, lavender, balsa, amber, sandalwood, and vetivier.
Sweet Tea Apothecary Dead Writers Perfume, $40 for 0.5 oz
As an English lit major, the thought of wearing perfume inspired by dead writers thrills me to my very soul. This fragrance, by Seattle-based perfumer JT Siems, is just one in a collection of brilliantly named scents (my other favorites are Death in the Afternoon, Her Grace the Duchess Georgiana, and Ka’iulani). Dead Writers Perfume features notes of heliotrope, vetiver, clove, vanilla, tobacco, and black tea.
Demeter Fragrance Library Paperback, $20 for 1 oz
If you’re looking for a fragrance that smells strictly like the pages of a book, you won’t find anything better than Demeter’s Paperback. The opening notes of this perfume are pure paperback novel, and then the fragrance settles into violet and potpourri on the finish.
Tokyo Milk Poe’s Tobacco, $30 for 1 oz
If you’re the type of person who would gladly live in the month of October forever, I can think of no better fragrance for you than Poe’s Tobacco. This perfume is smoky and dark and mysterious, and something about it just screams “autumn.” Poe’s Tobacco features notes of tobacco, tea leaves, amber, and apple.
Ravenscourt Apothecary Anne of Avonlea fragrance oil, $36.66 for 0.3 oz
I recently stumbled upon Ravenscourt Apothecary perfumes for the first time, and now that I know they exist, I’m wondering how I lived for 26 years without them in my life. I mean, a perfume named after the First Lady of Prince Edward Island, Anne Shirley Cuthbert Blythe? I’m screaming! And the literary fun doesn’t stop there: Ravenscourt Apothecary also carries perfumes named after Mr. Rochester, Jane Eyre, Mr. Darcy, and Elizabeth Bennet. The Anne of Avonlea scent features notes of ylang ylang, vanilla, benzoin resin, English lavender, and sweet mandarin.
CB I Hate Perfume In the Library, $100 for 1.7 oz
Now, this is a fragrance that isn’t for everyone—it’s totally unlike anything I’ve ever smelled before—but if you like the idea of wearing an unconventional scent, you should definitely give In the Library a try. This fragrance is a blend of leather, cloth, wood polish, and something that perfumer Christopher Brosius describes as “English novel… a marvelous, warm, woody, slightly sweet smell.”