September 8, 2011

Toast Catalogues: Why do they smell so good?

Do you get Toast in the post? It is my favorite catalogue to order. I am always impressed with the faded/rich saturation and color of the pages every single time, but what gets me the most is the scent of the pages. I think it is the best smelling catalogue in the world!  Have you ever wondered why it smells so good?  I emailed the Westdale Press Limited printing company who prints Toast to ask and they replied immediately:

Good morning, Rachel

The smell (which, incidentally, is completely harmless) is caused by the oxidisation of the linseed oil within the printing inks.

On coated paper, the ink sits on top of the paper coating and cures (oxidises) comparatively quickly because it is naturally exposed to the air. However, on uncoated paper (which is what Toast use for their brochures), some of the ink penetrates into the body of the paper, so is less exposed to the air. The ink curing process on uncoated papers therefore takes longer, hence the smell of the linseed oil oxidising lingers longer.

Long may you continue enjoying Toast's beautiful brochures!

Kind regards


  1. I sincerely hoped that you were getting catalogues that sold varieties of toast. I.E. warmed-up bread.


  2. That is amazing! May start getting it just to experience what it smells like.

  3. hah! Very interesting! That's so great you asked. Now when I smell them I'll think "Mmm, linseed oil..." :)

  4. I love that they responded to this question, and with such passion. That printer must love his job!


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