Scent-o-graphy: Add Aroma to your Photos!

Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2, 3

Did you know your nose has secret teleporting powers?

Think about your last trip to the beach: the salty scent of surf, your coconut-scented sunscreen, and the smokey smell of bonfires.

Just thinking of the smells makes you feel like you’re really there.

Now just imagine what adding scent to your photos will do for all those memories you caught on camera!

You can add smell to your photos at home in three DIY ways, and we’ll show you just how below.

Make Delightfully Fragrant Photos

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Senses are magic memory receptors that store their own information. The more smell, sound, taste and touch involved, the more memorable a photo will be.

“Memories of images fade hours or days after viewing, recall of smells remains unimpaired for as much as a year.” says neurological psychologist J.A. Gottfriend.

Let’s give our noses something to be excited about. Here are several ways to add scents to your images!

Technique 1: Print a Whiff


Scratch-and-sniff is a neato effect that’s difficult to do at home, but companies such as Homewood Press have come to the rescue and made it quite easy.

They can print your image for you or send you scented paper to print to your liking on any ink jet printer. Either way the paper will be infused with scented inks that don’t release their aroma until you scratch it.

Choose from smells like grass, cookie, sea spray, birch or champagne among your more average of smells. Scented photos can be as large as 19.5″x 28.5″.

The real kicker is, you can add multiple scents to one image as long as each area is as big as a silver dollar! Just indicate what odors you want where and it will be so!

Technique 2: Just Sniff, No scratch


  • Strongly scented tea
  • Photo print on matte paper
  • A tray as big as your photo
  • Water
  • Your nose

Scratch and sniff technology may be beyond the average person’s DIY skills, but we can still make lovely scented paper to launch our photos to aromatic greatness!

Tea will also give your image a lovely sepia tint, too. If that’s your vision, use teas with tannin such as black or green tea. If you’re not into toning, white or red tea are the best ways to go.

First, print out a scent appropriate photo, then add about an ounce of aromatic tea leaves to a tray big enough to fit your photo.

We used Chado Hinamatsuri Blend tea which is made of flower petals and spices. We matched it up with a photo of a flower! You might think about matching up your scents with your photos, but you could go wild, too.

Pour just enough water in the tray to submerge the photo. Put the photo in and let it sit overnight.

Once it’s dry you will have a beautifully sepia toned and scented image!

Technique 3: Essential Oil Scenting


  • Ziplock bag
  • Cotton balls
  • Essential oils
  • Photo print on matte paper
  • Your nose

Essential oils are fragrances extracted from leaves, flowers, stems, roots or bark. We used lavender, rose geranium and petitgrain essential oils, but there are lots more to choose from.

Start by dripping about 3 or 4 drops of each oil onto separate cotton balls.

Then, place the cotton balls in a ziplock baggie with your image.

Leave in a safe place for 2-3 weeks to let the scents permeate! Your nose will love you for it!

Take it Further


Photos By: Nicola Twilley

  • Make a scented map! Artist Sissel Tolaas made this one of New York
  • Check out these scratch and sniff photo promos by Melissa Hennessy!
  • Sound is just as powerful! Fotobabble lets you to add sound bytes to your digital images.