For his “Silent Surface” exhibition, artist Paul Schutze created a unique fragrance that conveys the scent of vintage, creased tomes.
To many bibliophiles, there’s nothing more heavenly than the warm, dusty smell of an old book. While many companies have tried to replicate the rich scent, none have integrated it as well as London-based artist Paul Schütze, who is using the scent to heighten the senses in his new exhibit.
Set in Maggs, one of the world’s most prestigious antiquarian booksellers, Schütze has set up “Silent Surface” to explore the physical presence of books and people’s interactions with them. The exhibit incorporates three elements: Paper (a book), Babel (a series of prints of books and pages) and In Libro De Tenebris (the book perfume). The aroma was sprayed all over a dark book, which is part of the display. The exhibit also includes books and pages being burned or destroyed.
The exhibit was inspired by the possible end of books in their traditional, physical form as many companies are moving to eBook format. It is also about enjoying the physical presence and feel of the books, and what it inspires in the people who love them.
The fragrance is also for use in the exhibit and is currently not for sale, so if you want your fix, your best bet may be to tour old libraries and shops.