In Style has an innovative new plan for saving print media: Their annual "101 Reasons to Smile This Summer" features five scratch-and-sniff scents. Editor Ariel Foxman explains the vaguely infantilizing concept:
We couldn't make the pages tasty, but the magazine can definitely smell like summer! We have a lot of energy invested in digital, mobile and social platforms, but you can't smell your phone or sniff a website yet. There's nothing like adding an extra sensory experience to a print publication. We're the only, and first, women's magazine to do this.
They then chose five generic flavors from a scent company's inventory—"popcorn, watermelon, grass, sun tan lotion, and iced coffee"—and pasted them in.
Since magazines already have the ability to insert makeup and toiletries into ads, you'd think In Style could come up with a more enriching "extra sensory experience" than fake popcorn smell? I already know what fake popcorn smells like. It causes popcorn lung, and when it occurs absent actual popcorn, it is among the worst scents in modernity, alongside port-a-potties, Nair, and bacon-scented cologne. (After we published that post, a bottle of the cologne arrived at our office. It was, without exaggeration, the foulest substance I have ever smelled. Like burying your nose in the sweaty, mid-fart butt of a man who has consumed nothing but bacon for a year.)