Stunningly Fragrant Perfumes That Smell Like Books

If you purchase an item after clicking a link on this site, we may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more.

Perfumes can form a massive part of your personality, and scents can forge links to remembering people.

In some cases, scents can invoke memories of the past, or they can offer comfort by providing a scent that you like.

Stunningly Fragrant Perfumes That Smell Like Books

One item that provides comfort for so many people out there is the scent of books.

When you go into a book shop and open up a brand new one, there’s no other scent like it.

Even the scent of old books can provide a sense of comfort and familiarity.

Perfumes and books have a tendency to go hand-in-hand. Writers discuss the fragrance of perfumes to help set the scene, and now, perfumes are made to imitate a book’s scent.

With that in mind, this article will help you find a perfume that any bookworm would love.

OUR TOP PICK

Biblioteca de Babel was designed by Fuegueia as an ode to Jorge Luis Borges’s The Library of Babel.

This perfume will have you feel as though you’re browsing the tomes found on a massive carved bookshelf.

You will no doubt get a nostalgic feeling of looking around libraries to find a brand new book for your reading collection.

Designed with notes of cedar, leather, cassis, ylang-ylang, ink, cinnamon, and vellum leaves, all to produce an antique scent.

There is no doubt that you will feel as though you’re back in the library again after so long.

While this won’t evoke the scents of a book itself, you may find that it will make you want to find a book and scour the library.

EDITORS CHOICE

Book was designed for those who see themselves as akin to F.Scott Fitzgerald or Ernest Hemingway.

While so many book perfumes focus on the relationship between literature and Oxford libraries, Book represents the New York variant of the literature lovers.

Imagine, you’re sitting in the New York library, and you have a book in your hand or you’re scouring the shelves. These are the images that the scents of Book should evoke in you.

In terms of scent, Book is blended with a combination of bergamot, eucalyptus, and sandalwood.

While these are the main notes, they were built around the fresh yet warm scents of sandalwood and cedarwood, before infusing it with black tea and skin musk.

However, you can’t expect the same scent from all variants, as Book comes in a variety of different aspects: personal, expressive, and bold.

As a unisex perfume, Book is a great gift to your literature-loving friends.

BEST VALUE

Dead Writers was designed to evoke the same emotions as sitting in a library as you leaf through the pages of classic literature.

Designed by Sweet Tea Apothecary’s founder: J.T. Siems, Dead Writers was inspired by many visits to the library and is a part of a fragrance line inspired by different historical figures, from Henry VIII to Marie Antionette.

Despite smelling old, you would not get a stale vibe when you wear this perfume.

In fact, it has a prominent note of clove that helps to balance the hints of vanilla and tobacco that are infused in the fragrance. 

You won’t only find those in there, but notes of heliotrope, black tea, vegan musk, and vetiver.

Dead Writers is a brilliant perfume that is designed for all genders, and it’s easy to feel as though you should get out a book and read while you wear this. 

RUNNER UP

As part of Christopher Brosius’s “I Hate Perfume” line, he chose to make this line by finding perfumes that would evoke nostalgic memories.

In The Library is one of those perfumes that he designed based on the scent of his favorite novel, but not just any scent.

He chose to base it on a signed 1927 edition of the novel.

In the Library represents the dusty scent of yellowing pages and ink. But it also offers the warmth of a library with hints of wood polish, leather, and paper.

Many book lovers adore the scent of old books, especially as most passions for reading start by being taken to the library or even exploring the shelves of older relatives. 

RUNNER UP

M/Mink is a collaboration between BYREDO and the creative studio M/M in Paris.

When thinking about books it’s so easy to forget about one vital ingredient: the ink that words are typed or written.

The scent of ink is so distinctive, and BYREDO noticed this when they and M/M were inspired by an Asian block of ink.

Evoking the same feeling as opening a bottle of ink for calligraphy, writing, or art in general, M/Mink may be the choice for you.

M/Mink has a strong hint of Adoxal, which has a single molecular scent that is imbibed with incense that forms much of the richness of its fragrance.

It is then followed by clover honey, dark amber, as well as patchouli. But once it dries down, it loses the strength of the adoxal and soon becomes much more intriguing.

While this scent isn’t for everyone if you have friends who appreciate the scent of ink, this may be an excellent choice of gift.

RUNNER UP

While it is more of a cologne than a perfume, Demeter has designed this fragrance to evoke the same feelings as opening a paperback novel.

Demeter made this cologne to represent a library with a collection of secondhand books.

You’ll feel like you’re in an old, traditional library, with the books carefully curated by the librarians who work there.

Paperback, when first sprayed, has a vanilla scent that’s reminiscent of that of a brand new book.

But as it dries down, you can expect the scent to transform into a musty and wooden scent, that feels like you’ve been absorbed into an old leather-bound novel. 

Paperback is a great gift for a friend of either gender, with Demeter known for single notes.

If they have a passion for perfume too, you can suggest they combine Library with hints from other colognes for extra fragrance.

RUNNER UP

The Quartier Latin is the student district in Paris, and it’s an area that is known for cafes staying open all night, and intellectuals gathering to discuss with one another.

Memo Paris is a perfume line that is dedicated to evoking the ideas of a specific place, and in this case, they chose The Quartier Latin.

Quartier Latin is designed to smell of paper and ink, as though ideas have been scribbled on the pages of a leatherbound journal.

It is joined with hints of amber, cedar, tonka beans, and sandalwood to help set a Parisian scene.

If you have a book-loving friend with an adoration of Paris and books, this may make for an excellent choice of gift.

RUNNER UP

Le Labo’s Santal 33 smells like an archive of magazines and old books that you’ve collected over the years.

Santal 33 was named for both the number of ingredients that were used in this fragrance and for the sandalwood focus within these ingredients.

Being a combination of so many different scents, it’s a surprise how well it emulates the scent of old books and magazines.

Among its most prominent scents are ambroxan, cardamom, cedarwood, iris, leather, papyrus, sandalwood, and virus.

If you don’t know what ambroxan is, it’s a synthetic ingredient used to help diffuse the perfume. 

These are only a few of the ingredients used, but it comes as no surprise that Santal 33 has such a renowned reputation. 

RUNNER UP

A part of the Replica collection from Belgian perfume designer Maison Margiela, Whispers in the Library has been designed to evoke the scents of an Old English library.

Imagine a room full of books and paper, all of which have aged over time.

Find yourself lost in the books that are engulfing you, and get lost in the stories you find.

While Whispers in the Library starts out as a sweet perfume, with hints of vanilla and pepper taking charge, it changes as it dries.

Appreciate the woody notes that will take over, and the best part is, that it is long-lasting.

Whisper in the Library is a unisex perfume and could be an excellent choice for your book-loving friends who wish they were in the library at all times.

Final Thoughts

There is a vast collection of perfumes with the fragrance of books available. The scent of books has always been a source of comfort and reflection for many readers.

With these perfumes, you may find that your friends will appreciate the kind gesture of acknowledging their love for books while also providing a book with a personal touch.

There have also been many books inspired by authors, but this article has specifically focused on the fragrances that evoked the scent of books and everything associated with them.