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PRINTING WITH RUB'N SMELL®

Seen Stock Scents

Photo shows FOLCOScentTM capsules dispersed on printed surface. The colored dots are the process ink dot pattern. Photo illustrates the relative small capsule size.


  • Rub'nSmell scented varnish is one of the most versatile and economical scent delivery systems available. Supplied as an overprint varnish or coating, Rub'nSmell enables virtually any printer to apply scent as easily as a fifth color or spot coating.
  • Scented areas can be rubbed many times with scent released each time. The actual number of rubbings is determined by the size of the printed area and the intensity of the rubbing.
  • With Rub'nSmell scent is integrated directly into the printing process and is applied as a clear overprint varnish or coating onto printed surfaces. There is virtually no visual effect to the printed graphics underneath. Rub'nSmell uses a patented state-of-the-art form of micro-encapsulation called FOLCOScentTM made by Follmann & Co. Minden Germany. These capsules can be dispersed into a variety of overprint varnish or coating systems.
  • Rub'nSmell is available in.
    • Heat set and sheet fed offset overprint varnish.
    • Aqueous coating for offset, flexo and silk screen applications.
    • Gravure (toluene and aqueous) overprint varnish.
    • UV and EB overprint varnish.

Special Capsules Make Rub'nSmell Unique

FOLCOScentTM capsules are made using proprietary technology and are very unique.For example FOLCOScentTM capsules are made with a synthetic polymer making for a very tight and stable capsule system.The capsules are also especially small (median range of 6 to 10 microns) which helps make them strong so when the capsules are dispersed into print varnish or coating they can easily survive the rigors of the printing processes without bursting.

How it Works

  • Once Rub'nSmell is printed it is released by gently rubbing the printed surface. The rubbing action shears the capsules imbedded on the surface of the varnish releasing the fragrance oil. The net result is a pleasant release of scent, which after a short while dissipates until rubbed again.
  • The amount of scent and its intensity is generally determined by size of the scented area. So a larger scented area will yield more scent and more rubs. And unlike traditional gelatin based encapsulation products Rub'nSmell lasts for many years, giving it a much longer shelf life than the products they are printed on.

US Postal Regulations

  • Rub'nSmell scented varnish inks are approved for mailing by the US Post Master General, as long as the scented surface is covered or contained within the mailed piece. Therefore Rub'nSmell on magazine ads or on inserts and blow-ins would be acceptable as long as the printed surface is contained within the magazine. Postcards or direct mailers printed with Rub'nSmell would need to either be a fold-over design with the scent area covered by the flap or over wrapped.