Who Makes Scented Postage Stamps?: The Stamps of Bhutan

There are some odd postage stamps out there – but the source of the weirdest, most interesting stamps is probably Bhutan, a country in South Asia.

The country had no established mail system before 1955. Mail would simply be sent through mail runners or passing travelers.

But in the 1950s Bert Kerr Todd, an American, visited Bhutan a number of times with his family. Eventually he made friends with the king, and he suggested stamps as a method of growing the country’s economic welfare.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Bhutan executed many “firsts” of philately. Among these include:

Bhutan scented stamps.

Bhutan scented stamps.

  • The first scented stamps, showing flowers and smelling like roses
Bhutan 3D stamps.

Bhutan 3D stamps.

  • The first 3D stamps, using lenticular printing to show 3D views of animals, plants and more
Bhutan steel postage stamps.

Bhutan steel postage stamps.

  • The first steel and silk stamps
Bhutan working record stamp.

Bhutan working record stamp.

  • The first working record stamps, which actually work on record players and play Bhutan’s national anthem, folk songs, or a short history of the country.

No country has been as innovative as Bhutan when it comes to stamps, which is especially impressive considering Bhutan’s disconnect from the rest of the world — the isolated country legalized TV in 1999, the last country to do so.

Which of these stamps is your favorite?

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