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Famous Bookstore Makes Fragrance that Smells Like Books

Earlier this year, Powell’s Books, a famous bookstore chain in Portland, Oregon, surveyed its customers about what they missed most about the store during the COVID-19 lockdowns. In response, the customers said the number one thing they missed was the store’s smell. Now, even though the stores are open again, Powell’s is offering an aromatic treat that should soothe forlorn shoppers in the future, in case of further shutdowns (or just ordinary nights at home): a fragrance that smells like books.

Laughing Squid picked up on the scent, which Powell’s says is unisex and comes in one-ounce bottles. Powell’s told a local news station that the bottle also comes “nestled in a faux book, adding a vibrant and festive splash of color as a display piece on a bookshelf, on a bathroom vanity, or anywhere else in the home.”

In regards to the actual makeup of the scent, it’s not clear how Powell’s achieves its “million book” smell. The product page for the fragrance, which carries the tongue-in-cheek name “Powell’s by Powell’s,” doesn’t break down any of the ingredients in the product. The store does, however, say it has “the heady fragrance of old paper” and that it invokes a “labyrinth of books,” among other literary milieu. The scent also supposedly “delivers the wearer to a place of wonder, discovery, and magic heretofore only known in literature.

Powell's Books in Portland has made a fragrance that smells like books.

Powell’s Books

As far as purchase details, readers looking to bathe in book smells can purchase the fragrance online for $25. It’s a limited edition product, however, which could mean it’ll sell out quickly, especially since it’s available for preorder. For literary aromas, nothing beats sticking your nose in a good book. So if you can safely explore your local bookstore, that’s a great option—or just enjoy a nice read at home.

Feature image: Powell’s Books