By Lola,

Why Old Books Smell Good

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

(via catmint1)