In May, France issued a stamp commemorating chocolate. The stamp also smells like chocolate. Can USPS issues with embedded smells be far behind? I hope not because it will create major problems for collectors.

How do you grade the smell? Will expertizing agencies use a Smell-O-Meter in evaluating submitted items? How will the average collector distinguish between a VF smell of chocolate and an XF or Superb smell of chocolate? Older collectors are at a distinct disadvantage because their sense of smell is diminished. Will you pay someone younger to come over and smell your collection for you?

Will a poorly centered stamp with better smell quality sell for more than a VF centered stamp with an inferior smell?

We have never hinged stamps. Will we have never smelled stamps? How do you know if a stamp came close to a nose or not?

Where do you store these stamps? What if the smell of chocolate permeates your album and all of your stamps now smell like chocolate? I wonder what a #C3a with a hint of chocolate would bring at auction?

Preservation is a real problem. I assume the smell dissipates over time. What steps must collectors take to preserve the smell? Will the USPS sell bottles of fragrances so that you can occasionally spray the stamps to bring back that fresh from the post office smell? The USPS wonít manufacture the fragrances forever. An unused bottle of stamp fragrance may someday be worth more than a rare bottle of wine.

Letís have a setenant issue for Reeseís Peanut Butter cups. One stamp smells like chocolate and the other smells like peanut butter. We could have rare errors where the stamp manufacturer accidentally applies the peanut butter smell to the chocolate stamp and the chocolate smell to the peanut butter stamp. We could have a stamp issue for ďPreserve NatureĒ where each sheet of stamps could be embedded with a different smell: trees, grass, animals and so forth. It could mean endless varieties and lots of new catalog numbers. Each smell gets its own minor catalog number.

Will stamp fakers attempt to enhance the value of their collections by altering their stamps with fake smells? Iím not sure my nose can tell the difference between an original chocolate smell and a fake chocolate smell.

Some smells should be avoided. I think skunks are cute looking. But I wouldnít want a stamp smelling like a skunk in my collection. Thatís one issue I would seriously consider not adding to my printed album. Wait! A blank space in my album? I canít have that. But if I give the stamp a bath in tomato juice to remove the skunk smell, I will damage the original gum!

I hope this made you laugh. Enjoy your stamps because thatís what the hobby is all about.