Inspired by German publisher Gerhard Steidl’s comments that his favorite scent was “a freshly printed book,” Wallpaper magazine has launched Paper Passion, a perfume capturing the unique odor.
The idea for the perfume was conceived at last year’s Wallpaper Handmade exhibition in Milan, when the international design and style bible took inspiration from Steidl’s comments in the film How to Make a Book with Steidl.
The magazine subsequently asked Steidl to work with avant-garde perfumer Geza Schoen to try and bottle that scent — while Chanel creative director Karl Lagerfeld came on board to design the packaging and come up with the name Paper Passion.
The final result, which is featured in the annual Handmade issue of Wallpaper (out July 12), is going on sale online and in select concept stores, bookshops and perfumeries across the world retailing at UK £68 / US $98 / EC €85.
Schoen created the perfume with just four or five ingredients, including ethyl linoleate and a selection of woody components to add dryness, although capturing the unique scent was a tricky experience.
“The smell of printed paper is dry and fatty; they are not notes you often work with,” he said.
In terms of packaging, Lagerfeld instantly visualized a real book with pages and a hidden cut-out compartment to house the perfume bottle in the middle. In the front of the book are short essays on the subject of paper by Lagerfeld, Schoen, German author and artist Günter Grass, and Wallpaper editor-in-chief Tony Chambers.
“Beautiful paper is for me the top of luxury,” writes Lagerfeld.
“I am a paper freak. It’s a physical passion. I cannot live without paper. Touching perfect paper has something sensuous about it.”
Paper Passion’s launch comes as perfumers are increasingly looking for innovative ways to stand out in the over-saturated perfume market; some of last year’s quirkier perfume launches included BLOOD Concept, an independent Italian perfume house with scents based on blood types.
And earlier this year new brand The Fragrance Kitchen announced the launch of a perfume with its own multi-sensory e-commerce site — the house unveils a scent on its website each month comprising an original score and video conveying its aromatic character.