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Lick It Or Not: Scratch 'N Sniff Postage Stamps

In case you're itching for a new kind of postage stamp.
In case you're itching for a new kind of postage stamp. Photo Credit: ©2018 USPS

Scratch and sniff postage stamps? You bet. The U.S. Postal Service says it will “add the sweet scent of summer to letters of love, friendship, party invitations and other mailings” when it introduces “Frozen Treats Forever” stamps next month.

The new 20-stamp booklet will feature the “whimsical watercolor illustrations” of Margaret Berg of Santa Monica, CA, the Postal Service said in a release Monday.

“Scratch-and-sniff” made its debut, coincidentally, around the time that LSD was becoming popular in the mid-60s.

As lore has it, an organic chemist was tasked with suspending scents inside microscopic bubbles to help sell perfume. Before long, stickers for children smelled like fruit, books boasted cookie, popcorn and other flavored scents and peel-apart perfume strips were being inserted into magazines.

One of the more infamous uses was “Odorama,” used in the 1981 John Waters film “Polyester”: Audience members were given cards with spots numbered 1 through 10. Numbers flashed on the screen cueing them to scratch what they expected to be scents of grass, pizza, flowers and more.

Only Waters changed things up, substituting scents that included ratty sneakers, airplane glue, skunk and flatulence. There were also roses, air freshener and new car smells.

The U.S. Postal Service isn’t planning any surprises.

“Americans love cool, refreshing ice pops on a hot summer day,” its Monday release says. “The tasty, sweet confections come in a variety of shapes and flavors.”

The release goes on to say:

“In recent years, frozen treats containing fresh fruit such as kiwi, watermelon, blueberries, oranges and strawberries have become more common. In addition, flavors such as chocolate, root beer and cola are also popular. Some frozen treats even have two sticks, making them perfect for sharing.”

The USPS is already taking pre-orders on the fragrant stamps:

But there’s more: The service will live-stream the first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony at the Austin’s Thinkery Children’s Museum in Texas:

Here’s your hashtag #FrozenTreatsStamps.

P.S. The service is asking the public to submit suggestions for other stamps: Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee (WARNING: “Due to the time required for research and approval,” the USPS warns, “ideas for stamp subjects should be received at least three years prior to the proposed release”).

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