Nanotech pencils score high on smelling test


Pencils aren’t just for writing anymore; they can be used to enhance mental capacity.

Pentel, the Japanese stationery and writing manufacturer, has developed a new type of fragrant pencil lead, called Ain supplio, which recently won the Stationery of the Year Award at the 19th International Stationery and Office Products Fair in Tokyo. Pentel combined the power of nanotechnology with the knowledge of aromatherapists to develop the product.

Ain supplio fragrant pencils come in refresh, healing, and positive versions.
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Ain supplio contains fragrant ingredients trapped in nanocapsules, or tiny air bubbles, which are infused into the lead and then “pop” as you use the writing implement. Unlike other types of fragrant lead that use weak aromatic surface coatings that lose their smell quickly, the Pentel offerings keep their fragrance for about three years if the pencils are kept in an unopened package; the smell lasts two years if pencils are kept in their plastic case, and more than three months if the pencils are exposed to air.

Priced at less than $2 per set, Ain supplio comes in refresh, healing, and positive versions, each prepared by aromatherapists working with such spices as rosemary, lemongrass, mint, and green tea. The blends can purportedly boost the learning capacity of those in the pencil’s “smelling range,” according to Pentel.

- Marcy Koff