Monday, May 27, 2013
A vocal minority of Canadians has been obsessed with a maple syrup odor (Odour?—Ed.) allegedly emanating from the country’s new polymer bank notes. Some complain (very politely, of course) that they have a difficult time detecting the scent; others complain that it shouldn’t be there at all. The Calgary Herald reveals correspondence on the topic from concerned citizens to The Bank of Canada.
The BoC denies that the bills are scented at all—but then it also denies that the maple leaves featured on the new currency are actually those of Norway maple—a non-indigenous species. Hmmm. At any rate, scent is not among the listed features of the 2011 series polymer banknotes.
Here at FirstNerve, we think a scented banknote is a fairly cool idea. For proponents of ugly new currency designs, making bills distinguishable by the visually impaired is always a priority. Scented bills solve that problem: it would be easy to tell $20 bills (Canadian bacon) from $50 bills (Labatt Blue) and $100 bills (maple syrup).
In any case, we think the bigger problem with the new Canadian notes (quite apart from the odd choice of featuring Gene Wilder on the $10 bill) is that they are plain ugly and do not look like serious money. Of course, U.S. paper currency has been on an aesthetic slide toward the goofy as well. Could that be a reason why the dollar is being challenged as the world’s de facto reserve currency?