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“In the Library” Perfume by CB I Hate Perfume

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The latest addition to my “writer’s perfume” collection is CB I Hate Perfume’s In The Library.

From the description:

“In the Library is a warm blend of English Novel, Russian & Moroccan Leather Bindings, Worn Cloth and a hint of Wood Polish.”

I bought the “perfume absolute” because I like the silky texture of perfume oils and they seem to last longer than sprays. Plus, the alcohol scent of eau de perfume often throws off my nose and I can’t smell it properly for some time.

I’ve also learned you usually can’t judge a perfume based on what it smells like in the bottle, but this one was a little unusual in that regard, because it smelled so faint even in the bottle.

This is the lightest scent of all the ones I’ve purchased in my “writer’s perfume” quest. Very light. In fact, I have to press my nose to my skin to smell it, even when it’s freshly applied. It does smell like paper and I can detect the lemon, and maybe the wood, but not the leather or cloth. (My husband just came into the room and looked at me oddly for having the back of my hand pressed against my nose while trying to describe this aroma.) I can smell the laundry detergent on my shirt collar stronger than the perfume I applied right under it.

It comes in a little glass bottle with a glass plug stopper at the top. The stopper does not form a tight seal, so you’ve got to be very careful with the bottle. It had a plastic shrink-seal on it when it was shipped to me, but that didn’t prevent it from leaking a little. Fortunately, not much seeped out.

Out of all the perfumes I’ve purchased in this little experiment, this is the one I’m least happy with. It was the most expensive, and while I think the scent is a good one, I like to at least be able to detect a faint whiff of a perfume while I’m wearing it. I almost feel like I’d get better results from rubbing a book on my skin.

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“Paper Passion” Perfume

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

I Smell Like a Paperback; It’s Not as Great As it Sounds

ImageI think I may have an addiction problem when it comes to perfume. Seriously, I have cabinets and drawers full of the stuff. And the geek in me delights when I see something that is related to writers or books. So, when I came across Demeter’s Paperback, I couldn’t hit the One Click fast enough.

This is a case of the product delivering exactly what it advertises. It smells like a paperback book. I mistakenly expected a perfume with notes of old paper and leather, like my beloved Dead Writers, but Demeter doesn’t go that way with their fragrances. They are not “inspired by” or just “notes of”… They smell exactly like what they’re named and that’s all. No other fragrances blended in.

Paperback smells like fresh paper, ink and glue. It doesn’t have the warm spice of old paper; it smells like a book you just purchased at Barnes and Noble. And while it’s a scent I delight in, especially when it’s emitted from a heavy sack of books just purchased, it’s not a fragrance I would choose as a perfume. I wouldn’t expect someone who catches a whiff of me wearing it to say, “Oh gosh, you smell so good. What is that scent you’re wearing?”

Demeter carries a huge list of fragrances, from food to flowers, and even some very unusual scents like mildew and dirt. I also purchased the caramel, which smells absolutely luscious. The only drawback is it only lasted two or three hours, at most.

That said, I’ll probably end up ordering a few more, possibly in lotion or roll-on form. (They sell quite a few choices for each fragrance.) And maybe wearing Paperback while I’m writing will remind me of my end goal, to see my words in print.

I Smell Like Dead Writers & It Is Awesome

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I saw something come across my Facebook feed a couple of weeks ago and decided I had to try it. It was a perfume called Dead Writers made by Sweet Tea Apothecary. I think I’ve found a new favorite scent!

I ordered the sample pack, which contains four different scents for twelve dollars; shipping was free. They arrived quickly and were prettily packaged in a little cloth bag, tied with blue string. It would make a nice gift. They also included a 10% off coupon in the package they sent me, which I thought was very nice of them.

The four bottles are small, but the perfume oil is powerful. Each contains enough for probably about half a dozen uses.

The Writers scents are unisex. I’ve always liked spicy, musky, woodsy scents as opposed to sweet and flowery or fruity, so these aromas really appealed to me.

The first I tried, of course, was Dead Writers. At first sniff, encountering it while still in the bottle, I wasn’t sure I would like it. It’s one of those scents that smells much better on the skin and the longer I wore it, the more I liked it. It’s a warm, spicy scent. Like all of the perfumes in this collection, it’s difficult to describe because there are a lot of different notes working together. There’s a faint undertone of sweetness under the cinnamony-spice. It reminds me of the smell of old paper, and aged leather. It’s a rich, heady scent and I love it. I ordered a full-sized bottle today.

The second scent I tried was Dharma Bum, a scent based on Jack Kerouac. It’s spicy, with a strong note of patchouli. Like Dead Writers, it’s a complex scent that defies description in simple terms. Every time I smell it, a different note teases my nostrils. I have a feeling I’m going to end up ordering a full-sized bottle of this one, too.

ImageThoreau is a very green, woodsy scent. It’s lighter than the other fragrances in this collection, so if your taste runs more toward sweet, delicate scents, this one may be for you. The woodsy notes could make this smell good on a man, sort of a fresh, outdoors-y kind of cologne.

I’ll admit, I thought I disliked Lenore when I first smelled it, and it was the last sample I tried. In the bottle, I thought it had an “old lady” smell of cloying roses. But, I decided to give it a whirl because the other scents had been so much better than they had initially seemed while still in the bottle. Lenore turned out to be the same way. The roses are there, but it’s sort of “surrounded” by other scents, some of the spice of Dead Writers warms it up and blends beautifully with the rose. There’s also a hint of the “green” scent which makes it smell like a freshly cut rose instead of the stale, heavy “artificial rose” you encounter in  some perfumes. I’ve never been fond of floral scents, but I really wouldn’t call this flowery. Though it’s not my favorite of this collection, I’ll wear it and see if it grows on me.

All four perfumes seemed long-wearing. Today, I wore Dead Writers while I was out and about. After four hours, I was still catching whiffs of it. I thought it was interesting that my nose didn’t become “numb” to it the way it sometimes does when I wear other perfumes. Out of all of the samples, Thoreau seemed to be the least powerful, which makes sense, considering the others are comprised of more powerful scents.

I also ordered the sample pack of Pomp and Circumstance, a collection based on historical women, such as Anne Boleyn and Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire. I can’t wait to try them.