There’s a new perfume out called Paper Passion that supposedly replicates the aroma of a freshly printed book. At $98/ounce, it could be the answer to anyone who complains about an ebook’s lack of scent. I envision cross promotion any day now. Going on a trip? Load up your tablet, grab a bottle of Paper Passion, and you’re in business. The size of the bottle even passes TSA regulations.
I’m curious about what this stuff smells like and if it really makes me think brand new book. But I’m not curious enough to shell out 98 bucks plus tax and shipping to find out. If they had created a perfume that mimicked a stuffed-to-the-rafters used bookstore, I might shell out the money. Don’t get me wrong, I like the smell of newly printed books, especially when my carton of author’s copies shows up and I can hold that baby for the first time.
But for sheer nose candy, I’ll take the smell of old books anytime. I suspect it goes back to my childhood and trips to the library. I’d walk into that place and be on sensory overload – the old-book smell, the visual of all those wonderful colored spines lined up, the beauty of the Dewey Decimal System, and the hushed atmosphere. If I sound reverent about that, I mean to.
My other great memory of old-book smell is from my college days. Back then we were allowed to roam the stacks and study in little cubby-holes with nothing more than a desk, a chair, and a light. Besides books, the library catalogued old periodicals, which smelled even better than the books. Now my alma mater has banned students from the stacks, and public libraries seem far more digital and busy than the ones in my childhood memory.
Fortunately there’s still a place to get my old-book smell fix, and that’s in a used bookstore. The more it resembles a rabbit warren, the more I like it. I wonder, though, that as the digital age progresses, whether those cozy little bookshops will disappear or morph into something that no longer delivers an old book aroma. If so, I hope the perfumers take note. I would hate to lose that smell forever.
What I have to offer you this summer, though, is either the new-book smell of my Sons of Chance series – three of them in June, July, and August! – the new-book smell of WEREWOLF IN ALASKA, and my e-book original series of novellas, ONE NIGHT WITH A BILLIONAIRE, TEMPTED BY A COWBOY, and SAFE IN HIS ARMS. For those e-novellas you might need a dab of that Paper Passion perfume, though.
How about you? Would you buy Paper Passion for that new-book scent, or the knockoff that’s surely just around the corner? Or would you hold out for Eau de Used Books?
If you’d like a sniff of the new-book scent of one of my paperbacks, I’ll give two people who comment here a choice of THE HEART WON’T LIE (August, Sons of Chance) or WEREWOLF IN ALASKA (July, Wild About You). I have to admit they do smell pretty good.
A romance writing career has brought Vicki Lewis Thompson many wonderful things –New York Times bestseller status, an appearance on LIVE with Regis and Kelly, the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award from Romance Writers of America, thousands of readers, many dear friends, and the cutest little yellow convertible in the world. Her career has also given her work she loves.
Although she’s written more than 100 books, she continues to be fascinated by the many ways that a man and woman fall in love. The age-old story remains a challenging puzzle to be solved anew with each book. That makes her a very lucky person, indeed.