mask

The new bacon-scented mask from Hormel.

I love bacon as much as any meat eater, but the latest bacon-related product from Hormel doesn’t sound all that appealing.

They are giving away Black Label Breathable Bacon face masks.

Hormel never misses a chance to score some good marketing, and they’ve used the pandemic to allow people to wake up and smell the bacon, so to speak.

People have been overloading the website BreathableBacon.com where they can sign up to win a mask. And for each entry, Hormel is donating one meal to Feeding America for up to 10,000 meals.

I worship at the altar of Austin-based Hormel. They’re a great Minnesota icon that gave us Spam and all manner of pork products. But while I love the smell of frying bacon, I don’t want to be whiffing it all day long wherever I go.

Hormel says the fragrant face-wear is “the latest in pork-scented technology with two-ply multi-fiber cloth to keep the delicious smell of bacon always wrapped around your nose.”

For added effect, the black masks are adorned with bacon patterns.

Pork-scented technology, or at least scent technology, is actually a thing.

I guess it started with another Minnesota icon, 3M, which invented scratch-and-sniff technology in 1965. The scientists developed a process to make carbonless copy paper and then realized they could use the same process to put scents onto cardboard or paper that would be released when you scratched them.

Now the technology has advanced to provide long-lasting scents that can be used on just about anything. And bacon smell is one of the favorites of scent-making scientists.

A few years ago Oscar Mayer, which has an Institute of Advanced Bacon, invented a bacon-scented cellphone app that will awake you in the morning to the scent of frying bacon.

There’s a lot of science to the reason we can’t resist the smell of bacon. Researchers say there are about 150 volatile organic compounds that contribute to bacon’s unique meaty aroma, many of them hydrocarbons and aldehydes with some nitrogen-containing compounds thrown in for good measure.

But the enjoyment of smelling the bacon on the stove is in the anticipation of eating it. Smelling it all day on your mask would either make you hungry all the time or kill your desire to ever eat bacon again.

There are actually a plethora of scented masks for sale. Lavender, mint, cucumber and all other manner of herb and flower scents have been imbedded in masks or put into sprays to spritz on your mask.

Scented masks would serve a purpose in a lot of cases.

If you have to visit Aunt Gertie who has six cats or if you are changing a baby’s diaper, a mask scented with bacon or just about anything else would be more than welcome.

Tim Krohn can be contacted at tkrohn@mankatofreepress.com or 507-344-6383.