Posted by: bluesyemre | May 5, 2017

Why you love the smell of old #books

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A recent paper suggested that scent be included in a proposed intangible heritage list recognized by UNESCO. The move is supported by entries in the guest book to St. Paul’s Cathedral Dean and Chapter Library, which included, “….we all loved the smell and beautiful library” (11/02/15); “Amazing place! I can inhale the knowledge” (09/03/15); “We can smell the history, the fragrance of heritage and our communion with souls of the past” (04/11/15)

We don’t just appreciate the scent of the things we enjoy; we attempt to bottle it. You can spritz the smell of old books as a perfume, stock up on tiny bottles to catch the whiff of pine trees, or burn a candle to release the scent of rain. We actively enjoy recreating certain scents in our environment, not just experiencing them when they arise.

This is because scent carries significant psychological meaning and purpose. The American Journal of Psychology notes, “Proust remembered the kitchen of his beloved grandmother, describing in Swann’s Way how a madeleine pastry soaked in linden tea made a ‘shudder run through my whole body’…In The Poetics of Space, Bachelard, recalling his childhood home, wrote, ‘I alone, in my memories of another century, can open the deep cupboard that still retains for me alone that unique odor, the odor of raisins drying on a wicker tray.’”

https://daily.jstor.org/why-you-love-the-smell-of-old-books/


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