Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Everyday I write the book.

CB I Hate Perfume In the Library

Whenever I read, the start of the journey is always opening the book and breathing deeply. Don't you find there are few things more wonderful than the smell of a much-loved book? - Christopher Brosius

When I was a little girl, one of my very favorite places was my local library. This library branch wasn’t much to look at as library’s go, and my brother would have much rather been in the mall. But I was happy out in the tiny squat building that sat in the mall parking lot, hiding from the heat in the air-conditioned confines of the world of books I’ve loved all my life. I have long been able to lose myself in books as hours flew by. So much so that as a child I had to be grounded from reading; otherwise I was unlikely to regret, or even really notice, my punishment. Few places really make me feel as safe and happy and satisfied with being alone as a library or bookstore, surrounded by beautiful books filled with fantastic worlds, thrilling adventures, and emotion extracted from the complex emotional tangles of life, boiled down and poured into a few brilliant lines of poetry. In my grown-up life, one of my favorite hideaways from the world is Powell’s City of Books , which is a city block chocked full of lovely books, old and new, classic and pulp, hot of the presses or lovingly used.

Given this penchant for books, it makes sense that CB I Hate Perfume In the Library would be a scent I’d love. I love the story Brosius tells about his love of books, what I can’t get over is how much like the real thing the scent smells. If you have ever closed your eyes and inhaled the lovely smell of a beloved book, particularly an especially old copy, you know the smell. Brosius describes it as “English Novel taken from a Signed First Edition of one of my very favorite novels, Russian & Moroccan leather bindings, worn cloth and a hint of wood polish,” but to me it is bitter, dry, warn, warm, slightly oily and slightly woody, and on the whole, truly delightful. Scentzilla mentions in her review that, to her, In the Library smells like the aforementioned Powells, but to me Powells has too much foot traffic for the lovely book smell to pervade the building as purely as In the Library. To me, In the Library will always be the cool quiet world of public libraries (as well as the soul deadening silence of the law library I scrupulously avoided in law school – still loved the smell, though.)

While this one is probably for the diehard lovers of books or realist perfume (or, if you’re like me, both!), I still think it’s a wonderful experience that is worth sampling at minimum. I think it’s a sophisticated scent for a woman and a great scent for a man. The scent has good lasting power (several hours later and still going strong!) and low sillage, and hours later it still has a lovely smell, that I think is summed up nicely in a scene from the fifth season of Gilmore Girls. Rory, giving a campus tour to a prospective student, extols the virtues of libraries, capping off her lecture by requesting the prospective student smell a book. As Rory smells it, her paramour de jour comes over to tease her about smelling a book. After he leaves, the prospective student comments that the boy de jour is so cute. In her love of books and her irritation at the young girl’s inability to appreciate them, she replies curtly, “Yes. He’s very cute. But not as cute as Pushkin.” There might be many lovely fragrances out there waiting for you, but if you love books like I do, few will be quite as appealing to you as In the Library. Or, for that matter, Pushkin.

You can purchase the either the 15ml perfume absolute or the 100ml water perfume for $60 direct from the perfumer. In the Library is also available in a home spray, so you, too, can achieve that lovely library scent at home. You can also pick it up at online scent retailers like Luckyscent, and if you’re a try before you buy type, samples are available at The Perfumed Court as well as from CB direct.

”Don't tell me you don't know the difference
between a lover and a fighter.
With my pen and my electric typewriter,
even in a perfect world where everyone was equal
I'd still own the film rights and be working on the sequel.
I'm giving you a longing look.
Everyday, everyday, everyday...
Everyday I write the book.”

- “Everyday I Write the Book,” Elvis Costello

Want more reviews?
~ Alovely review from Scents & Sensibility.
~ A review from Scentzilla.
~ In the Library gets two mentions, one here and one here, from Perfume-Smellin’ Things.
~ Lastly, a lovely surprise review from The New Yorker.

Images courtesy of CB I Hate Perfume.


Ines said...

Hmm, I haven't tried many of the CB perfumes, but I now wonder how did I miss this one? And I can't live without books, bookstores and libraries. :) I will definitely have to try this one soon.

Diana said...

Ines, somehow I got deep into the CBs early in my perfume exploration, which is weird b/c I managed to miss some of the more classic perfumes in the exchange.

I hope you like it.