Scent Storytelling, the Old-Fashioned Way

We are so excited this week about the upcoming Future of Storytelling Festival in NYC, where we're exhibiting our awesome first digital scent film, Alex in Wonderland! It was produced by the super talented Maya Sanbar and works in harmony with Cyrano+Natural Moods Vocabulary. If you're in New York, check it in person on October 7-9th!

All this hard work and thinking about storytelling has reminded me of the 'multi-sensorial' children's books from yesteryear: scratch-and-sniffs. When I was growing up, I literally thought that they were the most magical things. But, of course, there's a scientific reason to explain them.

Scratch-and-sniff works by microencapsulation. Basically, on a micro scale, the odor-generating chemical is encased by plastic or gelatin spheres. Then, when you scratch a book or sticker

that has been coated by the spheres, you break open a few of of these spheres and--voila--scent emerges! Of course, after a few uses, all of the spheres are used up, and so the scent fades. Scratch-and-sniff has been used in a multitude of applications, from training materials about methane gas leaks to some classic children's stories. 

And hopefully, the Storytelling Festival and Alex in Wonderland are the first hints of what this generation of children will think of when they consider multi-sensory storytelling!