Do you remember that scene in the Harry Potter-movie, when they are making love potions, potions that smell different to different people depending on their likes? And Hermoine starts ranting on about old parchment and newly cut grass? That scene that we tried to laugh nervously at because it was little to close to home? Later on we learn the dangers of love potions but combining the scent of a few of wonderful things and putting it in a bottle is still a good idea. It’s called perfume and has been around for ages. And it is not a love potion as such it can still have a huge effect on your own mood and the mood of others. And what can possibly make anyone happier then walking around smelling like books?
I’ve never written a perfume review in my life( I leave that to the likes of Life in a cold Climate and Bois de Jasmine) but since neither of them have reviewed this perfume I will try,because I do think it is a very nice scent.
It is problematic that the website of Commodity goods is currently being revamped: they refer to Sephora which you can find here. Which brings us to the other problem: access. Getting a hold of this perfume on this side of the Atlantic is difficult so this perfume might not be an viable option for everyone.
One thing I noted when reading the few reviews of this out there is that I’m very alone in picking up fig-notes.There is not supposed to be any figs in there, but still I smell them. And frankly that’s one of the things that I like about this perfume. I would’t say it smells like an old book either, the abstract notion of a library comes closer to the truth I think; heavy on the wooden shelves, couple of leather armchairs, a few G&T’s, someone smoking a cigar. They do mention Hemingway in their brief description (*le sigh* Seriously. I’m a bit bored now…)
I had wanted to get my paws on this perfume for a while(also their scents Paper,Gold and Mimosa) when a friend booked a trip to the US. I said “grab what you can,I’ll pay you later” and she returned with this travel-bottle of Book. That was in May and this perfume is not suited for the warm part of the year I think. This for me is very autumnal. Which probably has to do with the fig overtones I pick up, they are currently in season and this time of year I look for a perfume that is in tune with that. It should be stressed that the woody dryness is the big impression, the fignotes are an interesting aside.
Last year,around this time, I picked up a bottle of Flagrant Délice from Terry De Gunzberg which is a very soft and sweet interpretation of figs and almond milk. That one is like a balm on my soul on rainy grey mornings. Book needs a bit of crispness in the air and the comforting ritual of wrapping oneself in a big scarf(and my leather jacket) to really come into its own I think. Yes, there is freshness in the top notes from the cucumber but that evaporates quickly to give way to the wonderfully woody and fruity heart; full of warmth and aroma. Just catching a whiff of it from underneath the layers is joy. Think of it as the mirror image to Philosykos from Diptyque which is figs with spicy wood overtones(I haven’t had it in a few years but went and had a bit of a smell to refresh my memory).
Some reviews say that Book is a scent for men but I say bollocks to gendering perfumes at all. Use what you like. This is pretty sexy on men or women(or those that feel they are both or neither).
When on the subject I would also like to mention Old books by The perfumers Story that I saw at Harvey Nichols. Apparently it is sold out now but you can read more here. It was too heavy for me so I did’t bother but it gave the impression of being well made and might be a good match for another perfume interested bibliophile.