Mood: It’s a sunny spring afternoon and you’re with your friends, lunching at a park. You’re slightly tipsy, but happy: you rarely see your friends. You notice how a friend’s hair catches the sunlight, turning into a luminous caramel. The light, narcotic flowers nearby tumble their fragrances into the air as you finish a glass of champagne.
“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 Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez’s Perfumes: the guide