For years, I have carried around a clipping in my wallet about C.B. I Hate Perfume, meaning to take myself for a tour of his enormous library of scents. He creates perfumes from the natural world, like freshly mown grass and soaked earth, and from nostalgic places like the summer kitchen and, yes, the library. Thanks to Kerry at Entomology of a Bookworm, I got a nudge to take up the quest that called from the little scrap of paper, and lo! I did not have to quest far at all. Ewanika is right around the corner, and she carries a selection of Christopher Brosius’s perfumes. Sadly, she was sold out of In the Library, but she did have two of the scents on which it is based: Old Leather and Smoky Tobacco.
If you, dear reader, can get your nose to a bottle of these perfumes, I encourage you to do so with more haste than I. For years I’ve known about this man’s genius, but I have not known it. All I can say is that I came home with Old Leather and Smoky Tobacco and put them under the tree for my beloved, with a gift tag that read, “for you, but really for me.” Since then, our home has had the delicate trace of the scents of leather and pipe and, yes, library, and I am smitten.
Pipe tobacco has featured prominently in two recent reads, The Moonstone and Laurie King’s The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, the first in her series of books about Mary Russell, Sherlock Holmes’s female “apprentice.” (Thank you, Eva.) Not only did I have the delight of curling up with these mysteries, but their olfactory sensations were available to me as well. True bliss.