The Write Aroma Pen

Boy some people can come up with daft ideas.

Violet Towne has just started back at work for the year and in her work-supplied stationery package she found the above-pictured ‘Write Aroma’ pen*. Of course she thoughtfully passed it on to me (because she knew how much I’d love it), and I in turn pass it on to you (because I know how much you’ll love it too). In case it’s not immediately obvious from the packaging, it’s a car air-freshener that comes breathtakingly bundled with a pen. Or, conversely, a pen that comes bundled with a car air-freshener. Brilliant!

Because you know how often you’ve been in a car and simultaneously wished:

A: That it smelled artificially of apples


B: That you had a pen to write a sonnet.

I can’t begin to enumerate the times that’s happened to me. Now, thanks to Pentel, should I be in such a situation ever again, I am completely prepared. Truly a Wonder of the Modern Age. I’m so glad that natural resources are being squandered for the manufacture of this this must-have item. This is how Pentel pitches it on their website:

The convenient Write Aroma Car Kit features the new Pentel Energel dulex retractable rollerball pen. The pen (RRP $3.95) conveniently clip onto the airfreshener(RRP $6.00) so you will not loose $5.00 & never be lost for a pen in the car again.

Crikey. For people who make their business out of selling writing implements you’d think that Pentel might take some trouble to get some actual writers† to work on their advertising. I’m not at all sure why the Write Aroma is ‘convenient’ (it seems to me that for something to be convenient, it has to have some kind of actual utility to begin with – a gewgaw that does nothing useful in the first place can hardly aspire to make a grab for the added status of ‘convenience’…), and I’m completely baffled as to how it stops me loosing $5.00. Or losing it either.

You may be forgiven for making the mistake of thinking, as I did at first, that the pen writes with a perfumed ink as well. Now that would be a truly stupid idea.

So stupid in fact that there are abundant puveyors of such items. At Aroma Writes, for instance, you can buy pens that scribble in little trails of lavender, patchouli, rosemary, Pina Colada and cappuccino.

Why is this desirable, I hear you ask? Obvious: you choose a scent for the type of letter you’re writing! Let me elaborate:

Lavender: Dear Mum & Dad, I’ve been wanting to tell you for a long time why I am so fond of musical theatre…

Patchouli: …and then we found these awesome mushrooms and spent the whole evening talking to the pixies…

Rosemary: Of course, for Sunday dinner I cooked up a roast leg of lamb which the whole family enjoyed…

Pina Colada: I also just love getting caught in the rain, the feel of the ocean and the taste of champagne…

Cappuccino: Holy the mysterious rivers of tears under the streets! Holy the lone juggernaut! Holy the vast lamb of the middle class!

…and so forth.

But here at Tetherd Cow Ahead, we feel that a real sense of vision from these perfumed pen peddlers is tragically absent. To this end, the clever boffins at TCA Enterprisesâ„¢ are hard at work improving on the Scented Pen concept in an effort to bring you a whole new world of olfactory calligraphic delights. So far we have perfected pens that will scent your correspondence with: bacon; ozone; asparagus-tinctured urine‡; mildew; Roquefort; whiskey; anchovies; pond water, formaldehyde and bratwurst. And we make a car kit too! Just think of the possibilities! Now, when you run into someone’s Merc in the parking lot you can leave them a bacon-scented apology note! Who could fail to be mollified by that?

And that’s not all! TCA Labs have even discovered a way to bring this concept into the digital age! Yes, that’s right, using the very same technology behind the TCA Virtual Glass of Water (VGW)â„¢, TCA Enterprisesâ„¢ in association with Hello From Hell Inc. brings you iSmellâ„¢. With iSmellâ„¢ you can now send aromatized** emails to your friends and families! I bet you didn’t see that coming Steve Jobs!

And should you think that concept has a fishy bouquet about it, just remember the folks at Pentel who managed to convince someone that bundling a pen with a car air-freshener was an idea worth bank-rolling.


*You have to consider the concept that these useless tchotchkes are so unappealing and worthless that the only way that Pentel can get rid of them is to throw them in with other actually-useful stuff.

†Instead of out-of-work spammers.

‡Note: this scent undetectable by around 40% of people.

**It’s a real word. Ugly, I know, but somehow… apt.