Online Exclusives

Smells Like Story Time

By Christine Esposito, Associate Editor | July 6, 2010

Aura Cacia brings kids� books to life with essential oils and Press-2-Smell technology.

Every kid has enjoyed a scratch and sniff book, but “Mo’s Nose” takes story timeto  a new level, naturally.

Unlike most scratch and sniff books that rely on microencapsulated (and often synthetic) fragrance materials, the Mo’s Nose children’s picture book series features Press-2-Smell technology that uses 100% pure essential oils from Aura Cacia, an Urbana, IA aromatherapy brand.

In the newest book—“Mo Smells Blue”— the Press-2-Smell technology allows readers to smell all the “blue” aromas that the book’s main character, Mo the rescue dog, discovers on his journey near the sea. Scents include sandalwood, clary sage, sweet orange and lavender.

The children’s lit aisle isn’t traditional territory for Aura Cacia, which is part of the Frontier Natural Products Co-op, a wholesaler of natural and organic products, founded in 1976 and based in Norway, IA. But company officials saw it as a unique project for its aromatherapy products.

“[We] got involved because this book was a great fit with our products and our philosophy, said Tom Havran, aromatherapy product developer for Aura Cacia.“The pure essential oils that we offer provide a world of aromatic discovery. That adventure of discovery is exactly what Mo, the Rescue Dog, sets out to do.”
Essential oils from Aura Cacia make “Mo Smells Blue” a true olfactory experience.
The Press-2-Smell (P2S) technology relies on a spongy, mesh-like material that has an incredibly vast surface area that is concentrated into a very small area. When the material is pressed, air displacement propels a little whiff of evaporating essential oil. The P2S technology allows the reader to experience the aroma of the essential oil exactly as it would be dispersed in nature,” Havran said.

When it comes to aromatherapy, the benefits for kids are the same as those the practice provides adults.

“But beyond the therapeutic aspects that essential oils provide, just smelling them as part of the Mo's Nose book experience lets kids make a real connection with the natural world and learn about it in a way that enhances the more common visual and auditory experience of reading a book,” Havran added.

Written by Margaret Hyde and illustrated by Amanda Giacomini, “Mo Smells Blue” is available at Barnes & Noble and online at,, and other select retailers. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Best Friends Animal Society, which supports initiatives with humane groups across the country.

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