Paperback (Demeter)

A trip to your favorite library or used bookstore. Sweet and lovely with just a touch of the musty smell of aged paper, Demeter's Paperback harnesses that scent with a sprinkling of violets and a dash of tasteful potpourri.

Now, I have spent my entire life -- from birth to this very second -- steeped in the scent of books. I spent my childhood surrounded by my father's massive collection of pocket paperbacks, purchased new (price: 35¢ to $1.25) from the early 1960s to mid-'70's. Marx, Kerouac, Whitman, Millay, Aristophanes, Tolkien, Eliot, Salinger, E.F. Schumacher, R.D. Laing, The Warren Report, The Temple of Gold, The Rubáiyát, The Prophet... Covers creased and coffee-stained, page edges dyed coral and turquoise and pale yellow, these were the companions of my early life.

In adolescence, the best birthday tribute a girl could receive was a gift certificate to the local Waldenbooks. There I encountered Richard Adams, Walter Wangerin, Jr., Orson Scott Card, Anne McCaffrey, Tim Robbins and Stephen King. As I moved from teens into twenties and began not only to earn my own income but to drive my own car, I could now travel for books-- and so my collection and my horizons expanded together. Trips to local thrift stores gave way to pilgrimages to the Montclair Book Center, Micawber's in Princeton, and the incomparable Strand. (Is it any surprise that I ended up working for printing presses, bookstores, and libraries?) When my husband and I joined lives, we also joined libraries-- and according to our LibraryThing account, we're just a few thin pages away from owning one thousand volumes.

All that being said, there's not a single molecule of Demeter's Paperback that evokes a storied history. There are many Demeter fragrances that delight me with their true-to-life audacity, but this is not one of them. The only part of a book whose smell it might resemble is glue. No paper, no ink, no literary flights of fancy-- just a strange piña colada mashup of fruit and mucilage evoking only bewilderment.

But at least Demeter tried to capture a reality. Bluntly stated, eBooks have no smell. Or do they?

Scent Elements: "Paper", "potpourri", and violets.