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France releases scratch-and-sniff postage stamps that smell like French baguettes

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(LONDON) — France’s postal service is expected to raise quite a bit of dough after releasing a brand new scratch-and-sniff stamp that smells like a baguette with just over two months to go until the 2024 Olympic Summer Games in Paris.

La Poste, the French postal service announced the crumby idea on Friday, honoring the iconic French food by calling the baguette “bread of our daily life, symbol of our gastronomy, jewel of our culture.”

“Bearer of culture and customs, the baguette is deeply rooted in the daily practices of the French,” La Poste said in their press release announcing the new stamp. “She embodies a ritual, that of going to her bakery, a local business anchored in the regions, attracting twelve million consumers every day. The making of six billion baguettes each year confirms its iconic status in French food heritage. The baguette transcends borders to become an international icon.”

The stamp features a drawing by French artists Stephanie Humbert-Bassett of a baguette wrapped in a tricolor ribbon of the French flag and will only be on sale in France at a price of €1.96 ($2.13) but can be used in international shipments, according to La Poste. One stamp can ship a letter weighing up to 20 grams while two stamps will allow you to send up to 100 grams.

“The baguette transcends borders to become an international icon,” La Poste said. “The inclusion of these artisanal skills and its culture in UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage testifies to its influence and establishes it as an ambassador of the bakery craft.”

But don’t loaf around if you want to get your hands on some. With France expected to receive an influx of visitors this summer for the 33rd Olympiad in Paris beginning on July 26, there will only be 594,000 printed in the initial run of stamps.

The baguette consists of just four ingredients: flour, water, salt, and yeast.

“This apparent simplicity reveals a complexity of manufacturing: dosing and weighing of ingredients, kneading, fermentation, division, relaxation, shaping, priming, cooking scarification,” La Poste said in their announcement. “So many meticulous steps mastered by the artisan baker whose unique know-how is passed down from generation to generation.”

The scratch-and-sniff stamps, released last Friday, are available for purchase now.

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