Who are you people, and why would you make such a thing?
The founder of Adventure Scents is Jennifer Howlett, an instructional designer that designs online training for disability service providers.
She works with a small team of creative assistants to hand-craft all of the Adventure Scents products.
Jennifer created Adventure Scents because she wanted to add a new multisensory dimension to an RPG adventure for a group of kids. She’d already set the scene with some cool background images and sound effects, added in some props and miniatures, and made some adventure-related snacks… but she felt that she was neglecting the players’ noses.
Since smell ties into emotions and memory, she really wanted to use it to create the right moods in the game, but none of the scented products available in the marketplace were going to help unless she rewrote the adventure as happening in a field of lilacs, next to a cinnamon roll factory, or under a laundry line. None of those sounded very appealing to the players – they wanted to adventure in a Moldy Crypt, or a Pirate’s Ship, or a Dragon’s Cave. But those kinds of scents just weren’t available.
What are ‘scentFX beads’?
At the core of every Adventure Scents product are powerful scentFX beads.
While some might mistake them for ordinary scented aroma beads, they are, in truth, obtained by harvesting the olfactory glands of aging gnomes, capturing their most breathtaking and memorable experiences. Note that no gnomes are harmed in the creation of Adventure Scents. Mostly.
The scented beads work like potpourri – to use them, you simply expose them to the air. You don’t need to add heat or flame, or spray anything around. This makes them a great choice to use in classrooms, convention halls, stores, or in your own living room. By the time you receive them, the orbs are completely dry and safe to touch. If you spill some beads, cleanup is easy – just sweep or vacuum them right up.
Will the beads leave behind a smell when I put them away?
When creating scent special effects, releasing the scent from the jar and into the air was the easy part. The difficult part is getting it to go away when you’re done. Who wants their house to smell like a Fetid Swamp for the next few days after a game session?
Our scentFX jars are specifically designed to slowly waft their scent around the room when opened, then to clear from the air quickly when closed again. This makes them perfect to use in a series as you progress through an adventure. There are no sprays, liquids, smoke, or dust to settle on nearby surfaces, so you can be assured of no lingering stenches.
Are your products all natural?
Our scents are made from a proprietary blend of fragrance oils, sourced from a number of distributors*. The fragrance oils contain both essential oils, derived from plants, and synthesized chemical fragrances. This is for the best. You wouldn’t want us to seek out an “all natural” source of manure for our Horse Stables scent.
*The gnome-glands that comprise the base of our products are more properly categorized as ‘supernatural’ than ‘natural’.
Do you test on animals?
We bring out our scents to test on anyone who walks through our front door. We suspect that our cats, Bracchius Cattus and Momar Catdoffi, would select our Welcoming Inn scent over any other fragrance in a blind smell test, but we can’t get the little blindfolds to stay in place long enough to give it a shot.
Other than that, we do NOT test our products on animals in any way, nor do any of our suppliers. In addition, our products do not contain any animal products*.
*Please note that gnomes are not technically ‘animals’.
How could I use the beads in an RPG?
Scents can help set the scene in a game, especially when combined with visuals and sound effects. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Add atmosphere to your tabletop game by setting an open scentFX jar in the middle of the gaming table when traveling to a new location.
Pass a scent pack or jar around the table when describing a setting to help set the scene and/or prompt actions.
As you enter the cave, you notice an odd odor… does anyone want to draw their dragon lance?
Use a hidden open jar to provide subtle hints to players or prompt perception checks.
“Does anyone else smell smoke? Maybe we should investigate.”
Use scent throws to transform an entire room or series of rooms into an adventure location.
Turn off the lights and use sound, scents, and touch to provide information in an adventure.
The room you’re in seems like it hasn’t been entered in a long time. There’s a thick layer of dust over everything.
When acting as an NPC, wear a locket with scentFX beads to match the character.
This guy reeks of cheap ale – I don’t think we can trust him.
Have players wear lockets filled with scentFX beads to indicate temporary or permanent states
You’ve been frozen by an ice ray and are unable to move.
Store objects in a large ziplock bag with scentFX beads to create scented props. Use the scents to reveal the hidden properties of items.
This lockbox smells like motor oil and exhaust fumes – maybe we should look for the key in the engineer’s bunk.
How could I use the beads in my classroom?
Scents have a strong tie-in with memory and emotions, and can make history, science, and English classes come alive for students. Here are some tips to get your started:
For Social Studies teachers:
For Science teachers:
For English teachers:
Allow students to earn scent packs as rewards when reading classics like Moby Dick, Dracula, Alice in Wonderland, or The Red Badge of Courage.
Scents also make great writing prompts to fire up students’ imaginations.
Please contact us via email for information about our educator discounts.
How can I learn more about Adventure Scents?
Check out some of these reviews and resources: