The scent of a freshly printed book can be intoxicating for some. German publisher Gerhard Steidl has admitted as much on many occasions. He has commented often that it is his favorite scent. It inspired the Wallpaper magazine to create a perfume that captured the scent of paper. The perfume is now ready and in fact Wallpaper has launched it in a unique package. Named the Paper Passion, the perfume took one year to create since it was conceived last year during the Wallpaper Handmade exhibition. The film ‘How to Make a Book with Steidl’ was screened at the event and his comment about the scent of paper in a freshly printed book inspired the international design community.
Geza Schoen and Karl Lagerfeld
When the concept took a concrete shape and the idea seemed feasible, the magazine asked Steidl to help make it a reality. He was requested to work avant-garde perfumer Geza Schoen to create that perfect scent and then bottle it so that the others may be able to enjoy it. The Chanel creative director Karl Lagerfeld also joined the creative team later to give the packaging the final shape and as is his wont he gave it his unique touch and twist. The name Paper Passion was also finalized by him. The annual Handmade issue of Wallpaper which has just been released on 12th of July features the new perfume in all its glory. The perfume has been released for online sale and has also been made available at select concept stores, bookshops and perfumeries across the world.
Capture the Unique Scent
It was a challenge to create this unique perfume even for a perfumer of Schoen’s caliber. He worked with only four or five ingredients, the most important being ethyl linoleate. A selection of woody components was added to get the dryness right. There was a lot of trial and error involved as the unique scent was a completely new territory for the perfumer. The freshly printed paper has a smell that is dry and fatty and these are not the notes that the perfumer normally worked with. It was tricky but Schoen achieved what he wanted. Lagerfeld’s contribution in terms of packaging has been invaluable for the project. He has created a real book with pages and a hidden cutout compartment that holds the perfume bottle.
The Perfume Bottle is Housed in a Book
The book that houses the perfume bottle also features some short essays written about paper by Lagerfeld, Schoen, German author and artist Günter Grass, and Wallpaper editor-in-chief Tony Chambers. Lagerfeld says in his essay that beautiful paper is the top of luxury for him. He says that it is a physical passion for him. The touch of a perfect paper has something sensuous about it. He is confident that Paper Passion will stand out in an oversaturated market for perfumes. The market has seen the arrival of perfumes based on really weird concepts. An independent Italian perfume house released scents based on blood types. The Fragrance Kitchen, a new brand in the field launched a perfume with a multi sensory eCommerce site. They would be releasing a new perfume every month along with its own original score and video that would describe its aromatic character.