It’s finally happened, at long last: scent has been brought to the world of audiovisual media. But it’s not television or movies leading the way. It’s books — or rather, e-books.
Here’s the lowdown. DuroSport Electronics, which, as far as I can tell, is a legitimate if little-known manufacturer of e-gadgets, has decided to branch out into somatic technologies — in this case, aerosol sprays that provide printed book-like atmosphere for your e-books. The company’s new product, Smell of Books, comes in five different aromas to please the sniffer of even the most discerning of bibliophiles: Classic Musty, Eau You Have Cats, New Book Smell, Scent of Sensibility, and (I’m still trying to get my head around this one) Crunchy Bacon. Maybe the latter is for people who keep cookbooks in their kitchens while playing lose and fast with the pork fat.
Anyway, Medialoper is quite down on Smell of Books, noting, for example, that New Book Smell is really just new car smell repackaged and repurposed. DuroSport evidently has issued a recall — assuming Smell of Books is an honest to goodness product.
Indeed I keep asking myself, is this for real? Smell of Books has just enough plausibility to be believable, given how bibliophiles (and by that I mean of the print-on-paper variety) wax on and on about the scents they associate with book reading. Yet, it’s also sufficiently doubt-inducing to raise my suspicions. I mean, “Eau You Have Cats?” Honestly? And why charge $29.99 a can for New Book Smell, but only $9.99 for Classic Musty? Something doesn’t quite add up.
Is canned aroma for e-books just an elaborate hoax? If not, is there actually a market for this stuff? Either way, I’m not buying it.