Friday, March 12, 2010

That Old Book smell...


Sometime sniffers of the Radcliffe Camera air vents may be interested to know that scientists have developed a technique for dating old books that relies on what all you know and adore - that 'old book' smell.

Apparently, the scientists described the smell as “a combination of grassy notes with a tang of acids and a hint of vanilla over an underlying mustiness.”

Visit the original Los Angeles Times article for (slightly) more info, or treat yourself to the original article in Analytical Chemistry - entitled 'On the Smell of Old Books' and full of tasty tidbits on 'material degradomics.'

2 comments:

Alison said...

This is so intriquing; I'm definitely going to read that article.

Thanks for sharing!

Alan Gallagher said...

Depending upon the books, it is depressing or reassuring to know that many will naturally degrade and evaporate. I know we have lost many good books, but there are so many whose only purpose seems to have been to kill a tree. alg