France’s Post Office Has Issued Scratch-‘n’-Sniff Stamps. They Smell Like Baguettes.

French post office La Poste has introduced a stamp designed by Stéphane Humbert-Basset that gives off the scent of bread when scratched to celebrate the baguette.

The stamp has a “bakery scent”, which was achieved through the use of microcapsules that are embedded within the ink of the stamps to provide the bread-like fragrance, reported French newspaper Le Monde.

Baguette stamp against a blue background
The stamp has a “bakery scent”

“This scent is encapsulated,” Damien Lavaud, printer at Philaposte, told radio station France Bleu. “We buy it from another manufacturer.”

“And the difficulty for us is to apply this ink without breaking the capsules, so that the smell can then be released by the customer rubbing on the stamp,” he said.

Stamps with illustrated baguette
La Poste is releasing 594,000 scented stamps

Designed by Humbert-Basset, the stamp for international letters has a print run of 594,000 copies and is sold in sheets of 15.

The illustrator also designed a one-stamp souvenir leaflet that’s inserted into a three-fold card featuring a large picture of a baguette.

According to La Poste, it created the stamps as the baguette is the “jewel of French culture”.

“The baguette, bread of our daily life, symbol of our gastronomy, jewel of our culture,” it said. “Bearer of culture and customs, the baguette is deeply rooted in the daily practices of the French.”

It embodies a ritual, that of going to the bakery, a local business anchored in the regions, attracting twelve million consumers every day,” it added. “The making of six billion baguettes each year confirms its iconic status in French food heritage.”

Stamp souvenir with baguette card
A baguette card also celebrates the bread

The baguette was given UNESCO heritage status in 2022, which the post office referenced in its decision to create the stamps.

“The baguette transcends borders to become an international icon,” La Poste said.

“The inclusion of these artisanal skills and its culture in UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage testifies to its influence and establishes it as an ambassador of the bakery craft.”

Baguette stamp with bread scent
The baguette was given UNESCO heritage status in 2022

Other stamps with striking designs include one issued by Ukraine bearing the words FCK PTN! and a Banksy artwork, and a joyful illustrated stamp celebrating 50 years of UK Pride.

The images are courtesy of La Poste.

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