We recently got a mailing from our gas provider and were puzzled because we have always been enrolled for paperless statements, and they don’t usually spam us with ads for additional services like banks sometimes do.
It turned out to be a scratch & sniff to remind the public of the smell of mercaptan, which is added to odorless natural gas lines as an olfactory marker that most people can identify quickly. You can’t run this campaign virtually.
It’s been a while since I’ve smelled gas (that is, mercaptan), but this aroma was drier than I remembered it—very sterile, unlike rotten eggs or other sulfurous emissions, which have an “oily” olfactory quality to my nose.
The smell is quite effective in evoking “danger,” though, if one has been conditioned to fear it as a signal of such. Fortunately, the scent barely lasts past each single scratch.