Creating atmosphere in your home always gets a boost by little rituals. Papier d'Armenie (Armenian paper, in English) provides just such a diversion when said home is in need of deodorizing.
The result is a subtle, faintly exotic smell that manages to curiously cancel out the other smells in our kitchen without giving the impression of covering them up. The active ingredient is Benzoin, a resin sustainably harvested from trees in Laos and to which many curative properties are attributed for a host of ailments, from asthma to depression.
Other fun facts: Benzoin is also used in perfumes, such as Shalimar. The Papier d'Armenie booklets have been made in the same French workshop for over a century, and the production process for one batch takes six months.
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(Edited from a post originally published 10.03.07)