The Smell-a-stamp: Could it be the next big idea?

Greetings from the Ridge.

I never took much interest in the pile of magazines that Mom would subscribe to each month, but when a few of the perfume and lotion manufacturers started inserting the little scratch and sniff cards I’d rush to the mailbox to start scratching and sniffing before my little brother had smeared his peanut butter hands all over the Chanel Number Five ad. Then a few years ago the scratch and sniff candy stamps for children were all the rage until some idiot started lacing the stamps with substances that were illegal in most candy stores and would send little Johnny’s head into Strawberry Fields Forever.

Now the U.S. Postal Service in another attempt to stay relevant in a digital world will introduce a series of 10 watercolor scratch and sniff postage stamps featuring popsicles meant to give us “a sense of summer nostalgia.” The postal boys are being a bit cagey in that they’re not unveiling the names of the scents until June 20 in Austin, Texas. Maybe they think that smells are more pungent in Texas, I don’t know.

In the 1960’s the 3M and NCR Corporation came up with a way to trap ink inside microscopic pockets on paper for use in carbon copies, and then they discovered that this process could also be used with scented oils that would rupture when scratched. The president of Georgio, the perfume maker, said that “now we won’t have to bring the customer to the store.” Before anyone could sneeze the other fragrance factories followed suit and within months the arrival of Ladies Home Journal was accompanied by a blast of smells that when combined smelled like a wrecked flower truck. &nbsp;&nbsp;<ahref=""><spanstyl... 13px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">To view more, please log in or subscribe to the digital edition.</span></a></p>