The Schimmel Library

Founded in 1878, a library dedicated to the research on flavors, fragrances, and botanicals.

Located in Leipzig, Germany, the scientific library is the largest of its kind, housing over 30,000 volumes, and stands as a symbol of the innovations which were discovered here.

Among these books sat scientists, scholars and Nobel Prize chemists dedicated to discovering the mysteries of nature as it relates to essential oils, flavors, fragrances and aroma chemicals.

The knowledge provided from these resources has helped advance the flavor and fragrance industry to new heights. Many of the library’s treasures date back to the early 1700’s. For instance, the Encyclopedia of Botanicals includes all hand-painted illustrations. The library contains all seventeen volumes of this hand-painted botanical series.

The decisive factor for the foundation of the library was the research of Bell’s predecessor in Germany, Schimmel & Co. The results of this work were already published in short trade notes in the 1860s and later became world-famous as “Schimmel Reports”. With the construction of the analytical laboratory in 1879 and the necessary acquisition of further literature, the scope grew. Nevertheless, the library’s inventory was quite insignificant until 1889. It was Dr Eduard Gildemeister who began to collect specialist journals and had them bound. Gradually, the literature opened up various fields of knowledge, from chemistry and physics to botany, pharmacy, essential oils and fragrances. By 1929, the library contained a total of about 5,600 volumes, 2,600 smaller publications and almost 5,000 patent specifications. In addition, there were 89 journals, 45 of which were from abroad. The literature was printed and bound in the in-house print shop and bookbindery.



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With its acquisition of Schimmel & Co. in 1993, Bell Flavors & Fragrances began its expansion outside of the United States. A wonderful inheritance that came with this acquisition was the Schimmel Library.

Today, the library houses about 30,000 reference works. This makes it one of the world’s largest collections of books and treatises on flavours, fragrances, essential oils, synthetic ingredients and botanical extracts, the oldest books dating back to 1739. Bell’s perfumers, flavourists and application engineers don’t just resort to the works of the past. The company also continues to maintain its collection of relevant trade magazines in the digital age.


For Bell’s predecessor in Germany, Schimmel & Co., research was of great importance right from the start. The publication of the so-called Schimmel Reports was a lasting expression of the desire to share the obtained knowledge with the world. At the same time, they were the heart of marketing activities at the time. The annual reports contained information on all products available from Schimmel.

In the 1860s, the first price lists occasionally included short trade notes on essential oils and drugs from Schimmel & Co. Since 1873, they have been published in annual trade reports, before being incorporated as independent company publications from 1877 onwards. With the publication of English issues from 1890 onwards and French issues starting in 1896, the company also made an international name for itself. From 1956 to 1986, the reports were then sent all over the world as “Miltitzer Reports”.