It’s ‘National Book Lover’s Day’


Isaac Salazar - book sculpture (

Isaac Salazar – book sculpture (

If you can bear to drag yourself away from the Olympics coverage, why not take a break in a sunny spot and get your nose stuck in a book – new, old or swapped!


In need of new literary temptation? Take a detour and pop into your nearest bookshop and buy a new book; just that ‘new ink and dry, creamy paper-y’ smell is enough to keep me browsing for an hour or so.  Even better, find a second-hand bookshop, where years of history, dust and memories are impregnated in the pages and on the shelves – you might find a rare gem.


When in central London, I like to head for Cecil Court off Leicester Square, they have a wonderful selection of bookshops and ephemera; and if only a multi-level will do, Waterstones is bibliophile heaven on Piccadilly as well as Foyles in Charing Cross (better coffee here too!); Daunts in Marylebone and for beautifully produced,  special print have a peek at Persephone books in Lambs Conduit Street.

If you are feeling really radical and eco-minded, then opt for the following:

  • Visit a local library, the ones remaining need our support
  • Why not book swap with a friend or colleague, a great, novel way (could not resist) to try something new but NOT FSoG – lets be original.
  • Re-read an old or forgotten book

It seems only fitting and in theme for me to suggest a few of my favourite ‘perfumed prose’ and generally fragrant-inspired literature:

My ultimate combination: perfume and books
They both have stories to tell and evoke memories of a place+time

  • Perfume – Patrick Suskind (very dark+visceral, a one off – its in my top 10)
  •  Jitterbug Perfume – Tom Robbins (psychedelic genius, fragrance, time-travel and immortality)
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde (a 19c  faustian pact, moral decline, beauty, decay and pervasive use of scent language)
  • Midsummer Nights Dream – Shakespeare (a fantastical favourite)
  • Essence & Alchemy – Mandy Aftel (history, recipes and a tribute to natural perfumery)
  • Scent: The Mysterious and Essential Powers of Smell – Annick Le Guerer (fascinating tour of Olfaction and humanity)
  • The Emperor of Scent – Chandler Burr (fascinating insight into the world of olfaction and Luca Turin)
  • Perfumes : The Guide – Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez – A witty, divisive guide to an encyclopedic offering of perfumes, old + new, classic + celebrity

In celebration of literary escapism and inspiration, lets honour and share our Book Love, I would love to know what you are reading, do you have a ‘must-have on the bookshelf’ that you want to share or recommend?  Or is there a secret, special bookshop that you might want to  declare publicly?

If you want to share ‘why you love books’, pop over to twitter and tweet @stylistmagazine #Ilovebooks.

Happy reading!!

check out for more inspiring book sculpture

About The Perfume Mistress

"If the eyes are the windows to your soul, then the nose is the doorway to your imagination" The Perfume Mistress Hello, by day I am a clinical aromatherapist and tutor, with over 10 years of working with natural materials and essential oils, by night I delve into the art of botanical perfumery, reading and smelling all things olfactory. I have set up the 'Nosetrodami Club' offering scentsory talks, discussions and master-classes on all topics and themes olfactive. I also offer one and two day workshops in the art of natural perfumery, natural and organic body & skincare. My inspirations range from the mundane to the metaphysical, the hum-drum to the hyperbolic which you may see reflected in my posts.
This entry was posted in Literature, Perfumed Prose, Smell in Literature, The BookSniff Chronicles and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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