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News  •  1 April 2021


Smell-E books arrive

Scintillate your senses with the latest scent-sation in publishing.

Ever wondered what Mr Darcy would smell like? Or Holly Golightly, perhaps? Or wanted a whiff of Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory? How about a sniff of the actual fragrances created by the twisted Jean-Baptiste Grenouille in Patrick Suskind’s 1985 classic Perfume: the Story of a Murderer?

Wonder no more. At Penguin Random House we have developed the world’s first e-reader that allows booklovers to smell the places, characters and objects they’re reading about. Smell-E Books are the culmination of more than ten years of research by our team of in-house sniff testers. Using the latest developments in wrap-around 4D Sniffology™, we’re able to hit readers with micro doses of the distilled eau de toilettes of the characters and settings of their favourite stories.

‘When we captured the tang of Macbeth’s witches’ brew we knew we were onto a winner,’ says head sniffer Bill Adenoid (he describes the broth’s scent as a mixture of porridge, boiled carrots, sulphuric acid and wet nappy). ‘Darcy, Golightly, Wonka, the BFG, we’ve nailed them all. And readers are going to be blown away with what we’ve done for Gone with the Wind.’

But the pathway to Sniffology™ has not been without hurdles. ‘Launch of the series is obviously a time for celebration,’ Adenoid continues. ‘But it’s also a time of reflection on the highs and lows that we’ve experienced on the way. We’ve learned many valuable lessons, like Robinson Crusoe is best left right alone, and the Hound of the Baskervilles needs a bath.’

For launch, the Smell-E Books series consists of ten titles. But Adenoid says the team have huge plans for the next phase of development. ‘Without giving too much away,’ Adenoid says, tapping his nose, ‘let’s just say we’re working on a special type of caterpillar smoke, the smell of giant cockroach and the lanolin of Ned Kelly’s beard.’

Scent-illating times indeed!

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