In my quest for the perfect “writer’s perfume,” I bought a bottle of Paper Passion: Perfume for Booklovers.
This is one of the most attractively packaged perfumes I’ve ever purchased. Inside the cardboard box, a hardback book is wrapped in heavy red fabric-like paper. The book is bound shut with the paper ribbon around the center.
Upon breaking the seal, you open the book to find the first ten pages or so printed with the story of the perfume’s development.
The perfume is nestled within the rest of the book’s red pages.
I had high hopes. The perfume gets great reviews, and it was created by master perfumers.
I didn’t like the first whiff of it in the bottle. It has a strong smell of alcohol. But perfumes often smell better on the skin than they do in the bottle. It has a watery feeling on the skin, but I’m used to the silky feel of perfume oils.
When first applied to my skin, it had a sharp, almost astringent, aroma with a bit of mustiness. In that respect, it was similar to Demeter’s Paperback. Sort of a “new ink, new paper” scent. As the alcohol faded away, it left a complex scent behind, sweeter than Paperback, but still not the warm, rich smell of old books that I hoped for.
The description in the book’s text says the perfumer used a “medicinal, technical” scent for the top notes, then “dryer and warmer” facets below “clean and woody” scents, then rounded it off with a sweet hint of floral.
There’s no doubt this is a complex perfume, and the resultant scent on the skin probably has a lot to do with one’s body chemistry. As the day wore on, I started to smell the sweetness underneath, a hint of a vanilla-like aroma that was like old paper, but it’s faint.
I don’t dislike it. Like Paperback, it’s sort of a “character” scent, something I’ll wear while writing because it makes me think of new books, and I’ll probably come to like it more as I wear it, as I did with Paperback. But Dead Writers is still my lead choice when it comes to something that has the warm, rich scent of old books.
Despite the watery, alcohol feel, the scent was long-lasting. Five hours after applying it, I could still smell it on my wrists, and on the shirt I had worn.
Amazon shipped it very fast. It was delivered only three days after placing my order. Bizarrely enough, Amazon categorizes it as a text book and gave me a promotional credit to buy an MP3.