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Plugged In

Fragrance company turns video game characters into scents

Plugged In

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Smells like Mega Man (Credit: Epic-Scents)

Forget Coco de Chanel. The heck with Calvin Klein's Obsession.

The next big thing in cologne? Eau de Mario.

Epic-Scents, a Connecticut-based fragrance company, is attempting to create the signature smells of the video game industry. We're going to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they're not going for that "Day Four of QuakeCon" odor.

Up first? A classic: Mega Man. Debuting on the original NES back in 1987, the all-blue hero best known for a vast array of interchangeable arm weapons will be transformed into a 'Cool Rush' scent in the first part of a deal with game maker Capcom announced at last week's Comic-Con.

"We really want gamers to know that we are making a fragrance that is an experience of who that character is," Jim Kavanaugh, Epic-Scents project director, tells Polygon. "We're not saying this is what Mega Man the metal robot smells like, this is a fragrance that expresses him."

While perfumes and colognes are certainly part of the plan, Epic-Scents is starting small. It will first create air fresheners with the scents, which should begin to hit store shelves within the next month. Expect to pay about $3 for one.

The Capcom deal calls for at least two products -- the other will be based on Mega Man pal Proto Man -- and while the scientists at Epic-Scents will do the heavy lifting, Capcom retains the final approval rights. So if your best friend winds up smelling like a Resident Evil zombie in the next few months, you know who to blame.

Chemists David Bedoukian and Drew Corcoran founded the company back in 1972 and came up with the concept. The idea, they say, is to create scents that demonstrate the essence of a character, because let's face it, most gaming characters would be pretty sweaty and grimy after all that fighting, jumping, and running.

For Mega Man, the company strove to exude "purity, bravery and masculinity," which translates to a mix of tropical breeze, a slight citrus scent and a hint of musk.

Talks are already underway with other publishers to expand the line.

"There are strong ties between memories and fragrance," Kavanaugh said. "We want to tie that fragrance to that character, when you use our air fresheners you will remember the nostalgia of playing that game."

Amazingly enough, Epic-Scents isn't the first to try to emulate game character odors. Last year, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab introduced an RPG Line that let fans of fantasy games reek like orcs, dwarves and rangers.

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