Baker Academic

Monday, May 20, 2013

Divine Providence and Old Book Smell - Le Donne

My friends. Science, when done well, makes one happy. For example, I learned this in a used book store today:

"Lignin, the stuff that prevents all trees from adopting the weeping habit, is a polymer made up of units that are closely related to vanillin. When made into paper and stored for years, it breaks down and smells good. Which is how divine providence has arranged for secondhand bookstores to smell like good-quality vanilla absolute, subliminally stoking a hunger for knowledge in all of us."

from Perfumes: The Guide by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez


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