How do you want the library to smell?

We all know from experience that the smell of a room or space can entirely change our perception of it. Smells affect us emotionally, psychologically and physically. That’s why the power of scent is not to be neglected in the design of library space.
The scents of the materials used in the building already have a big influence. Think, for instance, about the natural smell of wood and stone versus the smell of artificial materials. In the retail business it’s already quite common to use ‘olfactory branding’. It means adding specially designed fragrances to imprint positive impressions in the mind of consumers. We don’t regard library visitors as consumers, so our aim is not to direct their behaviour by exposing them to all kinds of smells. Instead, we want to investigate the ‘odourverse’ of the library. The universe of odours that is available to enhance the perception of different spaces in the library, to promote concentration and relaxation or to bring back memories of the past.



Paper Passion Project

Paper Passion Perfume captures the unique bouquet of freshly printed books. Designed by boutique perfumer Geza Schoen in close consultation with Gerhard Steidl and in collaboration with Wallpaper* magazine, the perfume expresses that peculiar mix of paper and ink which gives a book its unmistakable aroma, along with the fresh scent which a book opened for the first time releases. More

The smell of heritage

We don’t know much about the smells of the past. Yet, odours play an important role in our daily lives: they affect us emotionally, psychologically and physically, and influence the way we engage with history. Can this lead us to consider certain smells as cultural heritage? And if so, what would be the processes for the identification, protection and conservation of those heritage smells?

Inhaling history and smelling the future | Caro Verbeek

Maybe you don't know how important scent has been over the course of history. Did you ever wonder why that is? Have we been neglecting one of our important senses? Can smell be part of art? Or promoting well being? Or influence our culture and society? According to Caro, a picture says a thousand words, but maybe a smell holds a thousand images. 

Geurlab by Tanja Schell

Geur is de sleutel tot emoties, herinneringen en associaties en dit fascineert me mateloos. Of het nu gaat om een geurlogo van een bedrijf, het op geur zetten van een aria of het begeuren van een school, geur opent het hart en spreekt tot het brein.

Smellscape Mapping Workshop: Marseille 2015

Documentation of the smellscape mapping workshop in Marseille with DSAA 1 students of Graphic, Product, Event & Interior Architecture Design. Project co-ordinators: Guillaume Monsaingeon and Marie Menuel. Project assistants: Julia Feuer-Cotter and Melanie McBride

Hisako Inoue | Der Duft der Bücher

Hisako Inoues "Bibliothek der Gerüche" in der Villa Stuck lädt zu Lese-Experimenten mit der Nase. Die Besucher testen die Wechselwirkung von Papieraromen, Gefühlen und Erinnerungen

Sissel Tolaas on smell

Sissel Tolaas / on smell: Chemist, nose and artist Sissel Tolaas talks about her view on smell. More

Why Do Old Books Smell So Good?

Musty, with hints of vanilla, coffee, and maybe fresh cut grass…… Why do old books smell the best?