Paper Passion fragrance by Geza Schoen, Gerhard Steidl, and Wallpaper
magazine, with packaging by Karl Lagerfeld and Steidl. Hidden inside the
pages of a book, Paper Passion is accompanied by texts from Karl
Lagerfeld, Günter Grass, Geza Schoen and Tony Chambers.
“You have a book, you open it, there’s a bottle inside and it smells of a book. It might be quirky, but the idea has a simplicity, a linearity.” Geza Schoen
This tells the story of a passion and a twisting plot to put the particular bouquet of freshly printed books in a bottle. Gerhard Steidl was first alerted to the importance of the smell of a book by Karl Lagerfeld, prompting a passion for paper and the composition of a scent on the pages of a book. To Wallpaper magazine the pairing of the publisher with the perfumer seemed a natural partnership and so the idea for Paper Passion was born. Wallpaper magazine commissioned master perfumer Geza Schoen to create a fragrance based on the smell of books to be part of the Wallpaper magazine Handmade exhibition in Milan.
"This is an opportunity to celebrate all the gloriosensuality of
books, at a time when many in the industry are turning against them. The
idea is that is should relax you, like when you read a book, to a level
of meditation and concentration. Paper Passion has evolved into
something quite beautiful and unique. To wear the smell of a book is
something very chic. Books are players in the intellectual world, but
also in the world of luxury."
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