Innovation in Print: Scented Varnishes

Innovation in Print: Scented Varnishes


What are they?
Scented varnishes are thin, transparent coatings that are laid over a piece of print. The varnish contains tiny micro-capsules of scent which are broken when rubbed, allowing the scent to be released into the air.

Uses for the Marketer
The great thing about scented print is that it can really evoke an emotional response in the reader. For example, the smell of rubber or oil for a car enthusiast. Or of cut grass or lavender for a gardener. Or how about Xmas pudding for a Christmas promotion? There are a huge array of aromas available, and each has a host of possibilities for the creative marketer or designer to use to engender a specific response in their target audience.

scented varnishes on print

Magazine cover overlaid with scented varnish on the fruit.

And of course, there’s the novelty and attention-grabbing value scented varnishes have. They encourage people to share items, to keep them on their desk or take them home to share with the family.

If used well, scented varnishes can really add impact and longevity to print. The secret, as ever, is in understanding your target audience to get the best out of them.

Scented varnishes can be used on a wide range of printed products – including point of sale, catalogues, leaflets – even business stationery. It can also be used on all kinds of stock – cards, papers, vinyls, glossy or matt.

We’ve had particular success with inserts and direct mail pieces too.

For limitations, check out the Technical Information section below.

Smells Available
Here’s a list of the off-the-shelf smells we have available. It is possible to produce custom scents too – so if you have any specific requirements not covered here, speak to your Webmart Print Consultant to discuss your options.

scented varnish flavours

Technical Information
Once a printed piece has been produced, scented varnishes are overlaid onto the print as a separate process. They can be mixed with other finishing techniques such as spot UV varnish and applied in a single pass. We can print on anything up to B1 size (1020×720) and on anything from 80gsm paper up to 600 micron thick board. Note that we don’t recommend applying scented varnishes to uncoated stock without applying a sealer first.

Scented varnishes are relatively inexpensive, with the price decreasing for larger order volumes. They tend to be only slightly more expensive than other ‘standard’ varnish coatings. Again, for a price, get in touch with your Webmart Print Consultant.

If you’re in print marketing and interested in innovative product ideas, either keep reading Printing Brain or get in touch with your Webmart Print Consultant.