After Eight Mint and Coca-Cola

According to a small town in Germany that is getting ready for World Cup mania which starts next month, the smell most identified with the English is After Eight mint. I’m sure this is news to most English people. Same for the smell that’s associated with America — that being Coca-Cola. Btw, does Coca-Cola even have a smell? If it does, it must be pretty faint as I’ve never really noticed one. Then again, maybe my smell sense isn’t as sharp as it should be, plus I really don’t drink that much coke.

Why England’s team is in mint condition
By Telegraph, Kate Connolly in Berlin, Filed: 20/05/2006
…A small town in northern Germany claims to have come up with the “smell” of the World Cup by gathering together the “scents” of the football teams to compete in next month’s tournament.
Holzminden, home to one of the world’s leading industrial producers of smells since 1874, has erected World Cup smelling posts throughout the town and is inviting visitors to “Follow your nose”.
“We were going to give England the smell of tea,” said Ernst-Adolf Hinrichs, a retired perfume maker who has created the smells tour. “But then we assigned green tea to Japan, and so England got the After Eight, a cult symbol of Englishness for Germans.”
The after dinner mint, which has actually been Swiss produced since 1988, is very popular in Germany where it is marketed as “England’s finest mint”.
The television advert for it is set at a posh English dinner party with the slogan, “In fine English style”.
Holzminden’s olfactory celebration includes everything from mangoes (Mexico), saffron (Iran) and Chanel No 5 (France) to vodka (Poland) and beef steak (Argentina).
Less unlikely candidates include oak moss, a species of lichen favoured in perfumery as a fixative base and widely found in Serbia and Montenegro, and vetiver, a tropical grass from Angola, which produces an aromatherapy oil. Brazil, the favourites to win the tournament, are represented by the pina colada, while Germany are embodied in the smell of freshly-baked bread. “We wanted to have sauerkraut, but realised that when it’s warm it starts to smell very bad,” Mr Hinrichs said. Italy smells of pizza, Holland of cheese, the United States of Coca-Cola and Sweden of pine and flat-pack furniture.

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