What Is That Old Book Smell? It's Science!

David Rogers

The new book smell and old book smell explained

Nearly everybody (we assume) loves the smell of books. Why else would there be candles, colognes, sprays and more made to smell like books (the spray in the linked article comes in two forms: “New Book Smell” and “Classic Musty”)?

But if you’ve ever wondered what exactly the old book smell is, this infographic from Compound Interest has you covered. The simple answer: SCIENCE! The smell of new and old books can be explained by the materials they are made from and the chemical interactions that occur between these materials, as well as between these materials and the environment around them.

If you are interested in even more about the science of smell, see the (great) article that accompanies the infographic over at the afore-linked Compound Interest site.

Find the full infographic below!

Infographic explaining new book smell and old book smell