What's the dealio with "Armenian Paper"?

Le papier d’armenie, is the oldest natural air sanitizer and deodorizer. Easy to use and inexpensive, it can be used at home and abroad to remove bad smells (like pets, tobacco, cooking, dampness and mustiness) and to create a sense of well-being. It’s also useful during flu season and in a sick person’s room. Armenian Paper is made exclusively from natural products and produces none of the pollution of an aerosol air freshener.

A bit of history: In the late 19th century, Auguste Ponsot visited Armenia during a voyage through the Ottoman Empire. He saw the locals scenting and disinfecting their homes by burning Benzoin, a kind of tree resin prized by the perfumery world today.

Upon his return to France, M. Ponsot joined efforts with pharmacist Henri Rivier to find a Western method for burning Benzoin. After much dabbling, the men found that blotting paper was ideal: it absorbed a Benzoin/alcohol mix while preserving the original scent, and it burned slowly and without flames.

Armenian Paper was revealed to Western Europe at the Hygiene Exhibition of 1888 and the Universal Exhibition of 1889, where M. Ponsot and M. Henri demonstrated the antibacterial qualities of their invention using meat: meat that had been infused with burning Armenian Paper was still fit to be eaten after a week, while the control subject had started to rot. Gross, yes, but imagine the benefits for your green bin!

Today Armenian Paper booklets are produced in a workshop in Montrouge, where Mireille Schvartz, the great-granddaughter of Henri Rivier, runs the operation. Each booklet takes three months to complete.

Instructions: Tear off one strip of paper, fold it in the shape of an accordion, and place it on a small heat-proof container (an ashtray or an incense burner). Light it, then blow out the flame gently.

Fan-folded, the paper should burn slowly, like a stick of incense, for up to 5 minutes. Burning the paper will leave an ash residue which can easily be washed off the dish.

Usage advice: Burn a strip 3 or 4 times a week. Air the room regularly. Do not leave a strip burning without monitoring. Keep the product from children.

You can also place the scented papers, as they are, in drawers or closets. It has such an exotic and pleasing fragrance - it's nice to put a strip in gifts of clothing, books, or cards.

Posted on August 26, 2015 and filed under You asked us.