The smell of money: To Canadians, it's maple syrup

The Bank of Canada denies adding the sweet scent to its new plastic bank notes. Still, some citizens are asking for more.

By Aimee Picchi May 28, 2013 12:06PM
The new Canadian five and 10 dollar bills, made of polymer, are displayed with the previously released 20, 50 and 100 dollar notes following an unveiling ceremony at the Bank of Canada in Ottawa April 30, 2013 (Credit: © Chris Wattie/Reuters)Canadians are puzzling over the odor of the country's new plastic bank notes, with some reporting a maple syrup-like smell wafting from the bills. But the Bank of Canada denies adding any scent, according to The Canadian Press.

The mysterious smell came to a boil when the news outlet asked for a year's worth of correspondence sent to the bank about the currency. The first polymer note was issued in 2011, with $5 and $10 bills introduced this year. Dozens of Canadians had contacted the bank about the scent, and some asked whether a scratch-and-sniff patch had been added, according to the bank's records.

The mysterious scent marks the latest controversy for the currency. One botanist earlier this year alleged the Bank of Canada chose the image of a Norway maple -- an invasive species -- for its $20, $50 and $100 bills instead of the native sugar maple, as MSN Money reported in January. (The bank has also denied using the wrong maple, according to The Canadian Press.)

And then there are reports of melting money. One bank teller told the Toronto Star that she had heard of cases in which the plastic bills fused in a hot car.

Given those previous problems, the maple syrup mystery is surely a sweeter issue for the bank to deal with. 

Still, not everyone is happy. "The note . . . lost its maple smell," one writer complained. "I strongly suggest the Bank increases the strength of the . . . maple smell."

Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi.

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May 28, 2013 1:13PM
lol,on the Fused maple syrup bills left in a hot car and using the damn Norway maple leaf...they never get money right!
May 28, 2013 1:51PM
Why are so many people smelling their money?  Do their coins smell like poutine?
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