What Does Parchment Smell Like?

Parchment has a distinct smell that is hard to describe. Some say it smells like old books, while others say it smells like paper. But what does parchment smell like?

The smell of parchment paper is similar to that of salted, alkaline cow, nutty, and vanilla extract. Parchment paper has a distinctive and subtle smell that is more noticeable when heated. This is because it is made from cellulose, a plant-based product. When heated, cellulose gives off a characteristic odor unique to the material.

In this post, we’ll explain what parchment smells like and how it affects food. Plus, how to get rid of parchment paper smell.

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What Does Parchment Smell Like

What Does Parchment Smell Like?

The smell of parchment paper is somewhat nutty, similar to that of whole wheat flour mixed with salted alkalized cow and vanilla extract.  It is made by soaking paper in a calcium solution, giving it a distinctive smell. The calcium also gives the paper its characteristic white color and smooth texture.

What Does Fresh Parchment Smell Like?

When you first open a package of fresh parchment, you might notice a faint, papery smell. This is normal and should fade quickly. If the odor is strong or unpleasant, it could signify that the parchment is old or has been stored improperly and might not be suitable for baking.

What Does New Parchment Smell Like?

New parchment paper generally has a very light, slightly sweet smell. Some people have described it as smelling similar to honey or vanilla. Some people also say it has a slightly acidic smell, similar to vinegar.

Read Also: Can You Use Parchment Paper on the Stove Top

Why Does Parchment Paper Smell Like Cardboard?

Parchment paper smells like cardboard because it is made from recycled paper products. Cardboard is one of the most common materials used to make recycled paper, so the scent is likely to transfer to parchment paper.

There are also a few other reasons why parchment paper may smell like cardboard. One reason is that the chemicals used to treat the paper can give it a pungent smell. Another reason is that the paper is often stored in cardboard boxes, which can transfer the smell to the paper.

Does Parchment Paper Transfer Odor to Food?

No, parchment paper does not transfer odor to food. It is made from paper treated with oil or wax, giving it a non-stick surface. Any odors on the parchment paper will not be transferred to the food.

But, First, ensure that the parchment paper is clean before using it. You can do this by wiping it down with a damp cloth or running it through the dishwasher. Second, Try using wax paper or aluminum foil instead of parchment paper if you are still concerned about the odor transferring to food. 

Read Also: Can You Microwave Parchment Paper

Does Parchment Paper Transfer Odor to Other Parchment Paper?

Parchment paper does not transfer odor to other parchment paper. It is a thin, paper-like material coated with a silicone layer. This silicone coating prevents odor transfer from one piece of parchment paper to another.

If you use parchment paper for baking something with a strong smell, like garlic or fish, the smell may transfer to other parchment paper nearby. This is because the silicon coating on the parchment paper is not entirely impermeable, and some smells can penetrate it. 

To avoid this, You can also try to keep the smelly parchment paper away from other parchment paper to prevent the transfer of odor.

Read Also: Can You Use Parchment Paper in an Air Fryer

Does Parchment Paper Smell When Get Soggy?

When parchment paper gets soggy, it can smell bad. This is because the paper absorbs the water, and the water breaks down the paper’s fibers. The smell is usually most potent when the paper is first wetted and will dissipate as the paper dries out.

If the parchment paper is left in a wet environment for too long, it can start to mold, and the smell will become even more unpleasant. While parchment paper does not smell much, it can absorb odors from other things around it. Parchment paper smell also gets soggy because of:

  • High humidity
  • Lack of ventilation
  • Poor air circulation
  •  Incorrect storage
  • Use of an inappropriate type of parchment paper

How to Get Rid of Parchment Paper Smell?

Parchment paper has a distinctive smell that can be unpleasant, especially if it’s been in storage for a while. There are a few ways to get rid of the smell:

Read Also: Should I Butter Parchment Paper

1. Airing out the paper

Airing out the paper is the simplest way to remove the smell. Just set the parchment paper out in a well-ventilated area for a few hours or days. You can try placing the paper in a sunny spot if the smell is powerful. The sunlight will help break down the molecules, causing the smell.

2. Using a deodorizer

There are a few different products on the market specifically designed to remove smells from parchment paper. You can also use a generic deodorizer, like baking soda or white vinegar. Just sprinkle a little bit on the paper and let it sit for a few hours before wiping it off.

3. Use of Lemon Juice

Boil a pot of water and add a few drops of lemon juice. Place the parchment paper on top of the boiling water and let it sit for a few minutes.

4. Use of white vinegar

Try soaking the paper in a solution of 1 part white vinegar and three parts water for 30 minutes.


Parchment paper has a distinct smell that is different from other paper types. Some people describe it as a musty or earthy smell, while others say it smells like old books. Some hint at it as sweet or vanilla-like. Regardless of how you describe it, the smell of parchment paper is unique and unmistakable.

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