I’ve been technically working on Book Fair since 2017 when I first had the idea for this unusual atmospheric blend. Many times I start creating a complicated work, leave it for a few months (or years) and return to it when the muses call again. When I’m conjuring something so specific, I tend to leave it and revisit it over and over again until I have a eureka moment. I find the art of perfumery to be a slow art in general, and that whatever is meant to incarnate does so at the right time. Boy, is this the right time, because I miss book fairs and book sales so much right now!
I’ve had an “old books” blend in the works for awhile too, but that one is very different from what I’ve done with Book Fair. Book Fair is crisp, new, papery, inky, woody, freshness, tinged with ghosts of autumn. Think Scholastic book fair circa 1989. There isn’t any leather or dust here because it’s all about books right off the press.
I’ve been a bibliophile since I learned to read, and I learned to read at an unusually young age. When I was in kindergarten and the class was learning the alphabet, I was already reading adult books, so I was moved to a third grade reading class and was always a few grades ahead until it all evened out. In high school, if I wasn’t in the art room during lunch, I was in the library. Nothing changed as I grew older, and my book obsession continues to grow. I have a devoted library in my home, but my book collecting (especially antiquarian books) has already spilled over the confines of that space and into the whole house. If you ever wanted to lure me into a trap, you would just need a sign that said “Book Fair.”
Wet on my skin this blend begins with the smell of new paper, which if you’ve ever inhaled the pages of a new book, is actually very vanillic. I have an accord in here that is also very woodsy, and the primary woods that I get when this blend is still wet is birch bark and cedar and these contribute to the papery aroma as well as the number two pencils and school library vibe.
The top notes are made up of aromas reminiscent of the tang of ink and an autumnal breeze moving through. One of the base notes is tobacco and it blankets the blend slightly at first and then overtakes it more a few hours later where it seems to merge with the vanilla as the other top notes disperse. Overall, this blend is highly atmospheric for the first hour or two and then it calms down to a beautiful tobacco tinged vanilla. Because of this, I feel like even if the smell of books isn’t something you’d want to wear, you’ll find it very wearable because the end chapters of the unfolding are very different from what you experience in the preface!