By TJ Struhs
Manager, Government Affairs
Every year I struggle to come up with the perfect gift for my wife for National Forest Products Week. No matter how far in advance I mark the third week of October on my calendar or how early and often I ask her “What do you want for National Forest Products Week this year?,” it always gets pushed to the last minute.
Sure, you can go with your classic forest product gifts like books, stationary, furniture, or custom origami pieces. But, c’mon, these are expected. What do you give the girl who already has everything? It is precisely this line of thinking that turns what should be a joyous occasion into one fraught with frustration and indecision.
Not this year.
Several months ago, I came across a review by Ashley Weatherford (@Sincerelyash) on Sweet Tea Apothecary’s new perfume, “Dead Writers” ( Now You Can Smell Like an Old Book). Described as a bookish blend intended to “evoke the feeling of sitting in an old library paging through yellowed copies of Hemingway, Shakespeare, Fitzgerald, Poe, and more,” the Dead Writers perfume captures the very essence of National Forest Products week.
I knew it was the perfect gift for the perfect occasion.
Working in the paper industry, I appreciate the complex notes captured in this aroma. Paper at its most basic level is a mixture of plant material that includes cellulose, hemi-cellulose, and lignin. During the paper making process, cellulose and hemi-cellulose – the chief structural elements of trees and plants – are bound together with lignin, a sort of natural glue found in plants and responsible for providing strength and rigidity.
Overtime, as the cellulose and lignin polymers are exposed to sunlight and air, they begin to break down into a variety of organic compounds and phenolic acids. This is what makes paper turn yellow as it ages, and it is also what gives old books that sweet vanilla/almond/floral odor.
Sweet Tea Apothecary has managed to capture this process in the Dead Writers perfume and by doing so they saved my National Forest Products Week this year!
If you are like me and have put your National Forest Products Week shopping off to the last minute, try these forest products-themed gifts your loved ones are sure to enjoy!
Enchanted Library – Natural Soy Candle (Etsy $13)
For the reader in your life. Help transport them to a truly magical place.
Lemongrass Paper Hand Soap (World Market $8)
Bring grandma into the 21st century with scented soap made out of paper!
Lumber Yard Beard Oil (Beardbrand $15)
Make a good impression with your loveable hipster neighbor.
Happy National Forest Products Week!