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SMELL THIS

Caption: Mr. Magorium (Dustin Hoffman) and Molly Mahoney (Natalie Portman) Credit: Raffy for Walden Media LLC
This September, The Los Angeles Times ran the first ever newspaper advertisement using scented ink to promote the Fox-Walden fantasy film Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, which is due in theaters on November 16. When rubbed, the ad gave off the aroma of frosted cake.

Chemists at the company Scentisphere created the sweet-smelling newsprint by churning fragrance oil and water in a high-speed mixer. This process breaks down the oil into microscopic particles. A special plastic is then added, which coats the oil particles with a hard shell, “like an M&M or a bubblegum ball,” explains James Berard, CEO of Scentisphere. Heating the mixture dries the tiny capsules into a fine powder that is then mixed into ink.

When readers run their finger over the finished printed ad, they break open the microcapsules, releasing fragrance. According to Carmine Santandrea, chief executive of ScentAndrea, a scent-marketing company in California, scented ads are more likely to draw people's attention and leave a lasting impression. That's because, “Smell is the most powerful of all the senses and creates the longest memories,” she asserts.

—Tara Bruno