The alluring aroma of literary-inspired fragrances

There is something incredibly captivating about scents that have a literary connection. We’re in awe of the way that gifted perfumers bottle the elusive aroma of vintage books, while others perfectly distil a storyline or its fictional characters into an olfactory delight.

These are the perfumes that take you on a journey through the pages of the story itself, to the personas of the heroes and heroines and into the mind of the author. They ignite our imaginations and allow the words to sensuously leap off the page.

Here are some of our all-time favourite literary-inspired scents:

Byredo Parfums Baudelaire, £130 for 100ml eau de parfum
Try it at: Liberty

A delightfully scented ode to French poet Charles Baudelaire and his lyrical creations, namely ‘Les Fleurs du Mal’ (The Flowers of Evil) which inspired this very fragrance. Its composition features a beautiful bouquet of notes with juniper berry, black pepper and caraway at the top followed by incense, hyacinth, leather, papyrus, patchouli, black amber at the heart and base.


Miller Harris L’Air de Rein, £95 for 100ml eau de parfum
Try it at: Miller Harris

Created by perfumer Lynn Harris, L’Air de Rein is inspired by the life of Jane Birkin and cleverly distils the nostalgia of old books and enchanting libraries via a combination of oak moss, amber, vanilla and neroli.


Re Profumo Alexandros,£125 for 50ml parfum
Try it at: Fortnum & Mason

Quite literally, a book in a bottle. The story itself was written by Fulvio Fronzoni and dedicated entirely to perfume – so much so that the plot is structured with top, heart and base notes. Designed to be used together, the book and fragrance duo will take you on a journey to the centre of the tale, as each scent is an olfactory extension from the pages of the novel. Alexandros features notes of frankincense, ylang ylang, cinnamon, jasmine, leather, cedarwood and patchouli.


Written by Alice Jones

Recommended Posts