Jon Sherman doesn't run a regular wallpaper company. He runs a cool wallpaper company. "When I started, all of the paper companies were very traditional, with uptight-sounding names," he remembered. "I didn't want to be anything like them."
So he named his business Flavor Paper — with the goal of adding visual flavor to spaces — and began churning out wall coverings that turned the idea of grandma's wallpaper on its head. Sherman created a seemingly gentile toile that's actually hiding images of Brooklyn landmarks and a neon pattern of Queen Elizabeth's head, but neither are his most impressive feat. It's the development of a wallpaper that smells exactly how it looks.
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Flavor Paper's scratch-and-sniff line was the brainchild of one of the company's clients. "The owner of Michael Angelo's Wonderland Beauty Parlor in New York was thumbing through his high school notebooks looking for inspiration and saw all these scratch-and-sniff stickers," Sherman shared. He looked into the specifics and found a water-based adhesive with micro-encapsulated fragrance oils. The stuff's hand-applied to paper, and when you scratch it, you pop the capsules and release the smell.
The permanent line has three different patterns — bananas, cherries, and citrus — that come in a variety of different colors. Designers have freaked over the novelty paper, and so have celebrities. Tommy Hilfiger installed each of the three scratch-and-sniff designs in three bathrooms of his Miami mansion, and Dita Von Teese custom-ordered the cherry print with a deep purple background for her home. If you've visited the Museum of Ice Cream — a cult-favorite destination that's opened exhibits in New York City, Los Angeles, and Miami — you might have spotted the banana print. It was created in pink for one of the interactive gallery's rooms.
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Sherman and his team of creatives can print any design, scented or not. He's found a niche clientele in restaurateurs: Sherman estimates Flavor Paper's wall coverings are in hundreds of eateries across the country at this point. The newest commission will hang in Industry City, home to Flavor Paper's headquarters. The string of warehouses just two stops from Manhattan has slowly morphed itself into Brooklyn's cool-kid food hall, with dozens of vendors shilling dumplings, pita, and avocado everything. They're all paid homage to in the bright yellow design, dotted with animated versions of the iconic bites.
You can stop by to snap a picture in front of the cheery strip — it's practically made for Instagram — then try the real foods.