The Fragrance Of… New Beginnings
We all love new beginnings, could be the beginning through the birth of your child or the beginning through the purchase of your dream car or beginning through that new dress which just came in that you had ordered online. We all love new beginnings, irrespective of how big or small they are.
So, do I. But when I think of new beginnings, the first thing that comes to my mind is the ‘smell of new books’ that every year we would get before the start of school year. As my Dad would wrap them neatly in their brown paper covers, making sure those books are evenly and crisply clothed, I would simply bring them close to my nose, use my thumb and index finger to flip through the pages and whiff-in that wonderful fragrance of papered-newness. Simply, flip & inhale… flip & inhale … flip & inhale a little more. I would definitely feel a level of intoxication, breathing in the crisp aroma of new paper and freshly printed ink; which I can still do till today, by simply closing my eyes and transcending back in that memory.
Such is the power of memory and fragrances. We can go back to any memory we choose to and pay attention of the smell of that event, and it will most definitely flood-in all those memories with absolute vividness as if it just happened freshly.
Speaking of new beginnings, I am extremely thrilled to start off this journey of penning down my fragrant interpretation of my experiences in life and our worldly surroundings. The fragrance of things we love, the fragrance of things we detest, the fragrance of places to the fragrance of emotions.
Profoundly every little aspect of this world does have a scented nuance to it. But as humans, we are more visual and vocal, hence, the sense of smell kind off takes a backseat. My endeavor is to bring-out the scented nuances of this world so that we can appreciate this beautiful sense of smelling a little bit more.
Coming back to the fragrance of new books, It’s likely that the ‘new book smell’ can be put down to the formation of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) of three main sources: the paper itself (and the chemicals used in its manufacture – like hydrogen peroxide for beaching and alkyl ketene dimer, which makes the book water resistant), the inks used to print the book, and the adhesives used in the book-binding process. All these put together create that beautiful concoction of your new book's unusual smell.
As an homage to the luxurious sensuality of new books, the house of Karl Lagerfeld even commissioned a unique and encapsulating fragrance, named Paper Passion Perfume that captures the unique bouquet of freshly printed books.
So, let’s open our noses to new beginnings, to new experiences and new scents of this fragrantly gorgeous world around us! And, I am sure you will be baffled with how much our nose has to offer and how little we have appreciated it, well, only up to this point.