Paper Passion

The most marvelous things are the ones we take for granted. Consider a sheet of paper. A plain white leaf. You may cover it with a print-out of this article, handwritten grocery lists, a sketch of the view outside your window or profound observations on life. One page contains much history–from the Han Dynasty China (the earliest piece of paper discovered dates to 179-41 BC) via the Muslim polymaths traveling the Silk Road to the glittering cities of Uzbekistan, and from there to the Iberian Peninsula and the rest of Europe. In France, the first papermill was established in the 12th century AD. Nuremberg set up the production of paper in 1390. Sweden held out till 1612. So paper is of relatively recent vintage in the western world.

mulberry paper1

In high school we once had a papermaking class, an experience our art teacher insisted was essential for our understanding of the world. It turned my rather practical interest in paper into passion, because once you see the intricate process of creation, nothing is ever the same. The technique we used was remarkably similar to how the first sheets of paper were made in the Chinese Imperial court.

First, natural fibers are soaked in a solution that partially breaks them down. The Chinese used mulberry bark, a material common enough around the silk manufacturing centers, for the mulberry leaf is a favorite food of the silkworm. Hemp, rice and even old fishnets were also popular. Once soaked, fibers are ground to the desired size and mixed with an adhesive agent. My mixture looked like porridge and I added thicker filaments to create the texture of Japanese washi paper.

Then I spread the mixture over a wooden frame, sprinkled dried flowers on top–it was an art class, after all–and let the whole thing drain and dry. I peeled off a roughly textured sheet the next morning. I made paper. It smelled like oatmeal, milky and sweet. It felt like a minor miracle.

This thrill returns whenever I’m at a paper shop. Even the notebook section at my local supermarket makes me unreasonably excited, but if I ever find myself at a store specializing in handmade stationery, I might as well be in heaven.

mulberry paper2

Beautiful paper is a marriage of all sensory stimulations–the color that can be glossy or matte, the texture, thick like vanilla wafers or delicate like onion skins, the sound, like autumnal leaves or heavy silk. And then there is the smell. Some types of paper smell like freshly fallen snow, others are violet-like and musky. Old paper made from wood pulp breaks down to smell like smoky vanilla, the unmistakable olfactory aura in old libraries. Paper covered with ink has its own odor, from the metallic acrid blast of newspapers to the mineral and fruity richness of freshly painted calligraphy scrolls.

It’s not a coincidence that Kyukyodo, one of the oldest and most traditional papermakers in Japan also offers a line of incense. The scents, agarwood, violet, smoky rose, sandalwood, have the same refinement as the fine Japanese paper. I buy a few sheets of silky paper decorated with a swirl of golden maple leaves and a box of incense that smells like an antique wooden box that once held pencils and ink brushes. The paper smells like iris root, subtle but enough to make me open my bag as I walk down the street and take an occasional inhale.

As for the modern papermaking industry, it’s thriving near its taproot. China is the world’s biggest producer.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin, handmade (alas, not by me) mulberry paper. It smells clean and aldehydic.

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76 Comments

  • sara k: Dzing by L’Artisan smells like wet brown paper to me and Messe de Minuit by Etro like old books. February 5, 2016 at 8:32am Reply

    • Victoria: L’Artisan also had another great perfume that smelled of paper–Vanilia. So good but discontinued. February 5, 2016 at 10:41am Reply

  • sara k: I forgot to say, thank you for a fun post! I need to photocopy a stack of papers for my professor today so I’ll be thinking of it. February 5, 2016 at 8:35am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you! Good luck with that xeroxing. 🙂 February 5, 2016 at 10:42am Reply

  • Nicola: Oh how lovely to have made paper! I love stationery, paper of all types particularly and in all forms, loose or bound but I also love proper ink pens……. From my paternal grandmother I not only have her old (mostly Dior) scent bottles but her fountain pen. It writes beautifully but I can get quite obsessed with the paper I use it to write on! Then there was that beautiful paper shop on the Ponte Vecchio in Florence…. February 5, 2016 at 8:43am Reply

    • Victoria: I’m not particular about paper to write on, and for me anything goes. But when I have nice smooth paper within reach, I appreciate it very much. And if there is a good pen. I really like Varsity Pilot pens, but they aren’t available here apart from Amazon for an outrageous 20£ a pop. Once I run out, I need to find something locally made. February 5, 2016 at 10:47am Reply

      • Victoria: P.S. I remember a beautiful stationery store near the Boboli Gardens. I still have a notebook from it on which I spent a big chunk of my meager student allowance. 🙂 February 5, 2016 at 11:05am Reply

  • Karen (A): Fun read on a grey morning! Making paper is a wonderful way to create something beautiful and gain an appreciation for such a basic thing. And handmade paper – whether it’s bumpy or smooth is just such a treat. Great project to do with kids (and grown ups). And I’m glad that writing with pen or pencil on paper is still being done! February 5, 2016 at 9:00am Reply

    • Victoria: Another fun project is the homemade papier d’Armenie, paper scented with benzoin. I have published one recipe on the blog from an antique book, and some people actually tried it and had good results. February 5, 2016 at 11:07am Reply

      • Riley: I’ve been wanting to make it since I saw your post. For now I use Francis Kurkdjian’s variety. Have you tried it? February 5, 2016 at 4:04pm Reply

        • Victoria: I have his papier d’Armenie inspired by Lumiere Noire, and I think it’s very good and true to the original. February 5, 2016 at 4:57pm Reply

      • Karen (A): Fun! Don’t know how I missed it, will check it out and plan a paper making day! February 5, 2016 at 5:36pm Reply

        • Victoria: You can even incorporate bits of textiles in it! February 5, 2016 at 6:16pm Reply

  • Neva: Very interesting article which opens a new perspective on things surrounding us evey day. I deal with raw materials in the chemical industry in my job and I never miss the opportunity to visit the production sites of my customers. Productions are amazing and they teach us how much effort and details are needed to create things that have become part of our everyday life and that we take for granted. I have never had the chance to see a paper production so far and your description and pictures are fascinating. February 5, 2016 at 9:29am Reply

    • Victoria: One of the activities most fragrance companies organize is a visit to their production facilities. There is nothing like seeing a gigantic vat of Lauder’s Beautiful. 🙂 February 5, 2016 at 11:10am Reply

  • brenda: I also appreciate stationary – and the purchase of a new journal from a lovely shop is always exciting. With the ways of communicating turning to technology, almost exclusively, it is so wonderful to send or receive a handwritten letter. Myself and a dear friend have been doing this for almost forty years! These letters, tied up in string, always fill my heart with warmth. In our travel days, we would write each other on beautiful hotel stationary – Les Trois Couronnes – Vevey…one of our favourites. This stationary was almost onion skin adorned with beautiful light blue ink….stationary is still one of the first things I peek into a hotel desk to see! Alas – not as prevalent as it used to be. This makes me want to drop her a note today – snail-mail all the way! February 5, 2016 at 9:41am Reply

    • Victoria: I don’t write as many letters as I used to, but having beautiful paper inspires me to do it more often. My aunt likes to write letters, and even her postcards read like little stories. It’s very special.

      That being said, I have a friend with whom I correspond via email (we live in different countries), but the emails she writes are so beautiful and thoughtful, I save them in a separate folder. February 5, 2016 at 3:31pm Reply

    • Katherine x: Yay snail mail! How wonderful you kept this up. I love stationary too and had a stationary collection when I was younger. Just last Christmas found an old album with my favorite stationary and special letters from friends displayed. (Not the refined stationary you mentioned – not by any stretch. The best was the “Fraser” brand). We were all very “into” letter writing in those days. Sadly the only letters I write today are “thank you” notes. Good on you for keeping up the tradition Brenda! February 5, 2016 at 7:19pm Reply

  • limegreen: Mimosa perfumes can have that paper vanilla smell. Lovely post, thanks so much.
    There was an entire street in Paris that was just shops of stationery and other lovely paper goods. Felt like a step back in time.
    I read about the flavorist industry and vanilla flavoring is composed from the same molecules or something from wood pulp! (Japanese scientists created vanilla flavoring from something else, somewhat unmentionable.) February 5, 2016 at 9:50am Reply

    • Victoria: Une Fleur de Cassie, especially in its earlier incarnation smelled very much like paper mash! But after the reformulation, this part has been softened. As much as I loved the smell of paper mash, I’m not sure I’d want to smell of it, so I’m happy with the change.

      Vanillin is usually synthesized from lignin, and lignin is part of the wood cells. Since paper is made from wood (or any other substance that contains lignin), once it degrades it begins to smell of vanillin. A cool link and a universe’s reward of readers. 🙂 February 5, 2016 at 3:35pm Reply

      • limegreen: I love that paper mash opening!
        Thanks for explaining the vanillin “production” 🙂 February 6, 2016 at 2:32pm Reply

        • Victoria: I thought that it was such a cool link! February 8, 2016 at 5:16am Reply

  • Sun Mi: Lovely post. I have some beautiful handmade paper that I got in Korea. For some reason, I can’t bring myself to spend money on things like that in my everyday life, but extravagances abound when traveling. It helps that Korea has several shops dedicated to stationary and writing utensils….

    I do also appreciate the smell of old paper and old books, as I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for antiques and old photos. On me, the opening of 4160 Tuesdays Sleep Knot smells strongly of old books – a touch stale, a touch musty, but not in a bad way, of course. 🙂 February 5, 2016 at 11:18am Reply

    • Victoria: I find that in places where fine paper is part of the culture, it’s easier to allow yourself the luxury, mostly because it doesn’t seem like an indulgence. And really, who can resist those stores! February 5, 2016 at 3:37pm Reply

  • Cristina: What about scenting the handmade paper? Have you experimented with that? I’ve been giving it some thought for a while… February 5, 2016 at 12:02pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’ve only made paper once, and that was long before I had any knowledge of perfumery. I’m sure you can do it, and since natural fibers absorb the smells well, I imagine it would be easier enough. Of course, you scent readymade paper either by spraying it directly or storing it next to something perfumed. February 5, 2016 at 3:39pm Reply

  • Tara C: I loved visiting Marie Papier in Paris and now at Nota Bene in Montréal. There is nothing better than a fresh new notebook. I had my husband bring me back a bunch of beautiful paper when he went to Japan on business. February 5, 2016 at 12:13pm Reply

    • Victoria: I love Schleiper in Brussels, a store that has been around 1800s. Here there is even an artist Isabelle de Borchgrave who does most of her creations in paper, and occasionally she opens her studio for visits. It’s fascinating. February 5, 2016 at 3:43pm Reply

  • Jane C: Have you heard of The Soap and Paper Factory. It is a fairly small New York based company that produces exquisitely smelling soap, candles, lotions, and perfumes. Alas, they do not produce paper but have beautiful packaging, (the paper part of the company name), using all recycled materials. I have their Violet hand lotion which is the most delightful and uplifting scent anytime of the year. I haven’t actually smelled any other violet scents so I can’t compare but I almost have no desire to either as I am completely happy with their version! Two of my fascinations-paper and scents! February 5, 2016 at 12:18pm Reply

    • Victoria: I read about the line, especially with a reference to their violet lotion, and now your wonderful description makes me even more curious. February 5, 2016 at 3:44pm Reply

  • Sandra: When I think of scented paper I think of Legally Blonde-when Reese Witherspoon does her resume on scented paper! That scene cracks me up every time February 5, 2016 at 12:25pm Reply

    • Victoria: I remember that scene too! February 5, 2016 at 3:44pm Reply

  • DaveStPaul: So very interesting! Thanks for this post.

    I got a chance to smell the Geza Schoen perfume “Paper Passion” — the one hidden inside the Karl Lagerfeld book. That to me smelled thin, yellow, and like packing tape — so I guess more like a *book* smells, with paper and dust and especially glue. I would love to smell paper that was violet-like, or fallen snow-like. February 5, 2016 at 12:26pm Reply

    • Victoria: Once paper begins to degrade, it smells more, but fresh paper does have such a nice scent. As I mentioned to Cristine, it also absorbs odors really well. I realized not long ago that all books on my lower bookshelf became perfumed with rose when I spilled some rose absolute near that part of the shelf. Although none actually got on the pages, the odor was strong enough to linger. I wouldn’t deliberately scent my books, but there is something poignant about opening a compilation of Persian poetry and noticing a wave of rose aroma coming off the pages. February 5, 2016 at 3:48pm Reply

  • Alicia: Dear Victoria, thank you so much for this post. I often work with incunabula (books printed before 1501)and always admire the quality of the paper, still white, while many paperbacks from the mid 20th century are already brown.
    I suspect that a library of incunabula would have a different smell that most of our libraries. February 5, 2016 at 1:28pm Reply

    • Victoria: What a privilege! What do such books smell like?

      The oldest books I’ve worked with were the codes of law promulgated by Peter the Great and published in the 1720s. I also remember how glossy and clean paper looked, not pure white but pale ivory. February 5, 2016 at 3:50pm Reply

      • Alicia: Victoria, I suspect that the pages of the incunabula are not stark white, but they give that impression. I don’t detect any particular smell. They certainly don’t smell like old paper. I have in my personal library volumes of the 18th century, mostly French and Italian, and I also admire the quality of their paper, a very pale ivory indeed. I can’t say the same thing of the mid 1950’s books, many of which are now quite brown, with a slightly acidic smell. I imagine it is not only the degraded quality of the paper, but also the type of ink they used. I have seen 20 century books which are already loosing the letters. That is why libraries have to microfilm newspapers and pamphlets of the 19th-20th centuries because many of the letters are already lost. They self destruct. Those books and old newspapers are much more smelly than an incunabula. They smell musty and slightly acid, which doesn’t happen at all with a 16th century volume. At this moment I am working with a book of the mid 16th century, and all I find is clean dry paper smell. February 5, 2016 at 7:45pm Reply

        • Victoria: A friend who works in publishing mentioned that it’s usually the ink that’s the culprit. I bought a used book recently which I assumed was published at least 50 years ago, because it was yellow and crumbling at the edges, and I was surprised to see the 2003 date on a title page. February 6, 2016 at 10:04am Reply

  • kpaint: I’m quite mad for paper goods as well. I have to force myself to walk past boutiques with notecards, wrapping paper, stationery, or other such delectables in the windows lest I spend a small fortune.

    I have been known to get lost in the aisles of notebooks and tablets at Target. I’ve got stacks of greeting cards I’ve picked up over the years which have gone unused for the most part (who sends anything by mail anymore?) I also love picking out wrapping paper and wrapping gifts, and am even selective about the sticky notes I use. And I cannot abide an imbalanced or rough-writing pen or pencil.

    One of my favorite rituals before starting a class or new job, or other project that requires note-taking, is shopping for notebooks and writing implements appropriate for the task. Long before composition books were trendy, I used a different one for each class, each quarter, at University. I used alternating colors of ink for each day’s lecture so I could easily differentiate between them. I’ve got all those notebooks packed away somewhere still, but they take up very little space since they’re so compact.

    I love the smell of paper and love paper notes in perfume. I got a lovely waft of paper deep into the drydown of Rose Nacrée du Desert (the morning after I’d spent the evening in it) and get a papery sense from Atelier Grand Neroli (which smells more like petitgrain than neroli to my nose.) My notes on B. Balenciaga say, “the paperiest paper that ever papered,” but that’s about all there was to it (dry, linear paper) so it’s since been rehomed.

    Thanks for the article. It brought up some very pleasant memories. February 5, 2016 at 2:24pm Reply

    • Victoria: You’re a true aficionado! 🙂

      I’m also particular about the post notes, especially since I cover everything around me with them. And when I organized my office, I discovered I had quite a stash.

      Do you know Atelier Cologne Bois Blonds? I get a papery note out of it, and I wonder if you also see it. February 5, 2016 at 4:02pm Reply

      • kpaint: I’ve got a sample of it that I’ve yet to try. I’ll look out for the paper note! February 5, 2016 at 4:59pm Reply

        • Victoria: I’d love to hear your thoughts when you try it.

          Iris perfumes also can be reminiscent of paper. Lutens’s Iris Silver Mist has a hint of it. February 5, 2016 at 6:11pm Reply

          • girasole: I’ve also noticed this about some iris scents – although others seems to smell inky to me.

            I’m sure it’s just me, but L’Artisan’s Jour de Fete smells a little like old-fashioned stamp glue (the lickable kind) to my nose…and I love it! February 6, 2016 at 12:41pm Reply

            • Victoria: I also smell it as glue. I thought that it was because my grandmother often made glue out of water and flour for my art projects. February 8, 2016 at 5:13am Reply

              • girasole: I’m glad it isn’t just me who thinks so. At first I wasn’t sure I’d want to intentionally smell like that all day, but after one day of wearing it became quite addictive and is now one of my favorite calming, undemanding scents. It really promotes a feeling of cozy well-being for me! February 8, 2016 at 11:49am Reply

                • Victoria: It is very cozy and graceful somehow, an interesting combination. February 8, 2016 at 1:09pm Reply

    • Jane C: Kpaint you made me laugh to myself when I read your comments. A few years ago I too had stacks and stacks of greeting cards and each one was a work of art. One day I decided I would no longer hold on to these but instead share them. Since I loved paper I loved sending cards for birthdays and as thank you notes and would go out and buy them when the occasion called for one instead of choosing one from my own collection! I still have many many cards in pet because I sometimes bought duplicates. As I watch my collection dwindle however I do not feel any sense of loss or regret. I am not suggesting that you should follow, I really just wanted to share my experience with a fellow paper aficionado. February 5, 2016 at 9:08pm Reply

  • Riley: Isn’t Shoyeido a papermaker too? February 5, 2016 at 4:05pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’m not sure. I only remember incense from their store, and online I see only the incense related products. February 5, 2016 at 4:58pm Reply

  • Cynthia L: I just wanted to comment that it is such a restful morning experience to read this beautiful story, and then like comments, from people who appreciate the subtle beauty in our world. It soothes me in the midst of so much bad news. I feel like us perfume lovers are a tribe of sensualists, looking for beauty in the very air around us. As for the paper, my interest was first stimulated during a trip to Egypt, seeing the old papyrus scribes and texts. February 5, 2016 at 5:00pm Reply

    • Victoria: I think that because scents are intangible, you really have to use your imagination more and even make connections among things that at first glance don’t appear to be related. This makes you more aware of surprising things, and beauty is often a surprise.

      It must have been a special trip. I have been dreaming of visiting Egypt since I first learned about pyramids at school, but it still hasn’t happened. February 5, 2016 at 6:16pm Reply

  • Sharon: Victoria – I very much enjoyed your article on paper and I share your paper “madness”. When I was very young my most thrilling time was being handed large pads of paper and ink pens (both ball point and fountain) to write or draw for hours. Therefore I would be happy to send you some Pilot Varsity pens since they only cost $3.39 here in the U.S. (approx 3 Euros). I realize you might not want to give your home address, but I would gladly send to a P.O. box. Cheers ? February 5, 2016 at 9:52pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you so much for your kind offer, Sharon! My mom is visiting soon, so she will bring these pens for me (along with other things I miss from the US.)

      I also love art stores with their displays of drawing and sketching paper. February 6, 2016 at 10:14am Reply

  • Marsha: This is really interesting! When I first saw the photograph, I thought the article would be about embossed wallpaper. I think it’s called anaglypta. I also collect fountain pens and really appreciate nice paper. February 6, 2016 at 9:54am Reply

    • Victoria: 🙂 I knew a perfumer who was trying to launch a line selling perfumed wallpaper. I don’t think the idea took off. February 6, 2016 at 10:17am Reply

  • girasole: Thank you for a lovely post on another of my passions – I love paper and paper craft (although I still can’t bring myself to ‘repurpose’ books, despite the current fashion for book art).

    The sheets at the top of the post remind me of some gorgeous papers I saw on a trip to Nepal last spring. I so wanted to bring some home with me, but I knew it wouldn’t survive a long trip in my backpack (or rather, my husband knew it 😉 ). I didn’t quite manage to resist, though – I bought one sheet on our last morning and, though it’s a little furled and crumpled, it’s still the most beautiful paper I’ve ever seen. I’m just waiting for the right occasion to put it to use… February 6, 2016 at 12:46pm Reply

    • Victoria: I also can’t bring myself to do that, because something it feels wrong to cut up a book. I’d rather repair it and give it to someone else to read. This is another reason I could never switch completely to the electronic readers–you can’t share them easily.

      And now you have not just a sheet of beautiful paper but a nice memory too. February 8, 2016 at 5:16am Reply

      • girasole: Yes, I completely agree about e-readers. They can be useful, certainly, but they will never replace physical books for me, for this reason among others. February 8, 2016 at 11:45am Reply

  • Wara: another article from the NYT……..

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/03/t-magazine/mandy-aftel-all-natural-perfumer.html February 6, 2016 at 9:14pm Reply

  • Aisha: Ah, that metallic acrid scent of newsprint. Takes me back to my newspaper reporting years every time I smell it. Very few understand my love for it. 😉 Lovely post, Victoria. Oh! In addition to books and fragrances, I also hoard stationery. 🙂 February 6, 2016 at 9:17pm Reply

    • Victoria: I can understand it. It reminds me of weekends and a stack of newspapers my grandfather would relish. Long before I learned to read, I would sniff the sharp, inky pages. February 8, 2016 at 5:19am Reply

  • Isabel R: Dear Victoria, thank you for a beautiful blog and a wonderful post about hand made paper. I live in Sweden and my family and I regularly visit Sweden’s oldest paper mill which has been in use for almost 300 years. They still make paper by hand, one beautiful sheet at the time. Last summer I bought a stack of very expensive (but soo gorgeous) paper and your lovely text inspired me to sit down this dark and windy Sunday morning and write two letters by candle light (one of the letters to my 90 year old philosophy teacher from high school). Thank you for inspiring so much every day beauty 🙂 February 7, 2016 at 1:12am Reply

    • Victoria: Very glad that you liked it, Isabel. It’s always a pleasure to hear about others writing letters, especially letters to their teachers. I’m sure yours will appreciate the thoughtful gesture. February 8, 2016 at 5:21am Reply

  • Aurora: I’m glad you like paper so much as it makes for a lovely post and lovely photos. Another fan of paper in all its forms, I remember making research at the UN library and you could tell the age of books by what decade they had been printed, some were falling to pieces because of the type of paper used. Your class project obviously stayed with you, in my case a teacher had decided to have us make wicker baskets which I thoroughly enjoyed too and my mother used the end result for many years. February 8, 2016 at 1:20pm Reply

    • Victoria: I would have loved to make a wicker basket! That sounds like fun.

      My university library had the most remarkable collection of books in Farsi and Arabic, and they had a rich vanilla-iris scent. They were large, leather bound, with beautiful decorations on every page. It made me long to learn the languages just to be able to work with these tomes. February 8, 2016 at 2:16pm Reply

  • Hiroko: have you ever been to Ito-ya in Ginza, Tokyo? I think you would love it. Lots of beautifully handcrafted paper and other stationery goodies. February 10, 2016 at 7:53pm Reply

    • Victoria: Oh, I would love that. I don’t think I visited Ito-ya yet. February 11, 2016 at 4:04am Reply

  • Lavanya: Lovely post, V!! I LOVE LOVE paper too..handmade and really every kind (I remember literally running in the rain through a neighborhood in Venice, in search of a stationery store that I didn’t end up finding. Did end up in a paper store in Florence though, on the same trip..:). I still have some of that lovely paper).

    Ahh- that’s interesting about the smell – I was recently wondering why the handmade paper I have from India smells so good! I must go smell it again to see which category it falls under. Violet or almondy sounds close.. February 11, 2016 at 7:16pm Reply

    • Victoria: I started to recall the smell of bookstores in India, but the ones we have visited were offering new books and nothing particularly interesting. Now, I wish I had discovered the handmade paper there. I wonder what fiber is used to make it. February 12, 2016 at 11:55am Reply

      • Lavanya: My sister found a paper boutique in Bombay which makes lovely paper that she had used to wrap some gifts for me. I can tell you the name if you like (it was closed on the one day i could visit). A lot of the handmade paper in India that I am familiar with is made from cotton. Auroville paper (Pondicherry) is probably the most well known, I think (not completely sure what fiber they use). February 12, 2016 at 1:33pm Reply

        • Victoria: I’d love the name. I don’t know the next we will be in Bombay, but I can always ask one of my relatives to drop by.

          Pondicherry is a place I really want to visit. Is it embarrassing to admit that I got curious about it because of a Dior perfume named Escale a Pondicherry? 🙂 February 12, 2016 at 1:46pm Reply

          • Lavanya: She frequents many paper places, but the name of the most recent one she discovered (the one I was referring to) I think is called Bombay Paperie. I want to visit Pondi too! My parents had made arrangements to visit when we were there a few years ago (they lived in chennai at the time) but my poor husband fell sick so we didn’t go. hopefully someday! btw, Auroville nowadays has outlets in lots of cities. The Bombay Store also often has handmade paper goods (It is a national chain now – I haven’t been there in a while though..) February 12, 2016 at 3:30pm Reply

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