Scratch and sniff printing for scented leaflet brochure from Newton Print


What really makes print stand out on its own is its multi-sensual effect.  What we mean is: pixels are great but you can't touch, feel or smell them.

If there's one thing that really will give the office a buzz, a leaflet or brochure that actually smells gorgeous is a true winner every time.  You will have come across scratch and sniff printing at some point in your life, even if you only subconsciously recognised it. 

Scratch and sniff printing is created by microscopic capsules of scent which are specially developed into a solution that is applied to print. When these capsules are rubbed they break and release the chosen scent. Generally, this is a screen print process so that the scent is applied to specific areas (it's very similar to the process used for Spot UV Varnish). We can also apply this as a 'blanket' varnish so that it covers an entire publication such as a brochure (this gives a nice hit of scent when the brochure is flicked through!)

This process gives a long-lasting, powerful scent for an interactive print experience, ideal for scent marketing. There are other processes too whereby we infuse the scent; this is great for a short-term promotion or event as the scent will be released with exposure to air rather than needing someone to scratch it.

It's not only the obvious things that can be sniffable - you should also bear in mind the subconscious element of your customer's minds, because certain smells can evoke blissful memories and positive emotions. Scents such as the smell of cut grass, lavender, spring flowers, sweet shops... each of these and plenty more can be used to engage your customers' minds in a positive connection with your brand.

Scent marketing is actually pretty interesting but easier to explain in print form; to find out more of how scratch and sniff printing can enhance the build-up to a sale by using it in your marketing, drop us a line and ask us for a sample pack.  You can also check out our FAQ section below.


Can you create a customised scent?

We have a huge range of off-the-shelf scents available for scratch-and-sniff printing. However, if you need something that isn't immediately available or a scent that matches your product then it is possible that our development lab can create it. If you're curious, have a chat with our team to see if your choice of scent is available from our library.

Can you develop a scent from my own essential oils or perfume?

As above, our lab may well be able to develop this. It's been done many times before but it will depend on the exact scent. Some scents are just not possible to recreate realistically however hard we try! We'll be able to advise you though, so have a chat with our experts first.

Is scratch and sniff printing available for business cards?

Yes, it is perfectly possible. However, it isn't always economically viable because business cards are usually printed in small quantities. We have a minimum charge for scratch and sniff printing so please have a chat with our advisors.

What scents work best for scratch and sniff printing?

Sweet, fresh smells are the best option for realistic representation when printing. Things like sweet food, fruit, flowers, perfume, cut grass, spices, herbs, coffee, cocktails and soft drinks are some great examples that work really well. The trouble with savoury and cooked food smells is that it's so tricky to replicate the scent because there's no essential oils that can be used to create it. So our advice is to stick to sweet, natural, herbal or floral smells for your scent marketing.

Scent marketing for Adidas - scratch and sniff printing
Custom scratch and sniff printing for direct mail fragrance marketing

Here's a few ideas for where and when to use Scratch and Sniff scented printing to get you started:

  • Brand launch
  • New products
  • PR and influencer marketing
  • Direct Mail
  • Press Releases