French post office releases scratch-and-sniff baguette stamp

Baguette Stamp issued by the french post office La Poste
The ink used on the celebratory stamps contains microcapsules which provide the fragrance of baked bread - Universal Postal Union/Twitter

The French post office has released a “scratch and sniff” stamp smelling of “bakery scent” and featuring the iconic baguette.

The £1.69 postage stamp depicts the long bread swathed in patriotic red, white and blue ribbons and has a print run of 594,000 copies.

The ink used on the celebratory stamps contains microcapsules which provide the fragrance of baked bread.

It can be sent internationally, meaning it and the whiff of a traditional French bakery on a Paris morning could soon be winging its way to British letterboxes.

‘The baguette, the bread of our daily lives, the symbol of our gastronomy, the jewel of our culture,’ La Poste declared in a near ode to floury flute on its website.

‘Iconic status’

‘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.’

“This scent is encapsulated. We buy it from another manufacturer,” Damien Lavaud, printer at Philaposte, told France Bleu.

“And the difficulty for us is to apply this ink without breaking the capsules so that the smell can then be released by the customer rubbing on the stamp.”

The stamp was put on sale on Friday, after a launch on Thursday, the day of Saint-Honoré, the patron saint of bakers and pastry chefs.

Huge pride

The baguette remains a source of huge pride for the French, despite traditional bakeries struggling with the rise of supermarkets and sourdough.

President Emmanuel Macron once described it as “250 grams of magic and perfection in our daily lives”.

Unesco added the baguette to its “intangible cultural heritage” list in 2022.

Mr Macron declared the baguette was “envied around the world” as he wielded a flute in celebration.

He had fought to get it on the list of some 600 items, including traditional tea making in China after pizza from Naples was granted the special status.