Have you ever walked into a Barnes and Noble and noticed the pleasant smell? The reason the smell is so appealing may be because it has a hint of vanilla. The scientific explanation for the vanilla-ish scent is that almost all wood-based paper contains lignin, which is closely related to vanillin.
When lignin is exposed to oxygen, it begins to break down and produces a chemical called vanillin. Vanillin is the same chemical that is used to make artificial vanilla flavoring. So, when you walk into a Barnes and Noble, you are actually smelling the lignin in the wood-based paper breaking down and producing vanillin.
The smell of a Barnes and Noble is especially strong because of the sheer amount of paper in the store. Books, magazines, and other paper products are everywhere. The combination of the lignin in the paper and the oxygen in the air is what produces the vanillin scent.
The smell of a Barnes and Noble is also enhanced by the air conditioning system. The air conditioning system circulates the vanillin-scented air throughout the store, making the smell even more noticeable.
The smell of a Barnes and Noble is a comforting one. It can evoke memories of childhood and make you feel at home. It’s no wonder why so many people love the smell of a Barnes and Noble.
So, the next time you walk into a Barnes and Noble, take a deep breath and enjoy the comforting smell of lignin breaking down and producing vanillin.