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Subject: The Game of Odors rss

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Andy Foulke
United States
Bethel Park
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Welcome to Friedey's!
You want fries with that?
My father picked this game up in France when he was on his tour of the wine country. I'm not a wine drinker myself, but apparently a lot of wine tasting skill comes from skillful use of the nose. If you can identify various influences in a wine, such as fruits, flowers, tanins, etc. then you will be better equipped to identify and enjoy the wine. To that end, Loto Des Odeurs can be used to train your nose.

The game includes 30 scents, each captured in small plastic flasks. Each flask has a lid which can be removed, revealing a few beads which somehow retain the scent. The flasks have a mesh screen on top to keep the beads from escaping, while allowing the odors to escape. On the bottom of each flask is a label identifying the scent, in three languages (French, English, German). The scents included in the box are: eucalyptus, melon, vanilla, lily of the valley, violet, lavender, coconut, grapefruit, sea, apple, hazelnut, grass, banana, wood fire, mushroom, rose, orange flower, cookies, orange, pineapple, honeysuckle, apricot, strawberry, pinetree, soap, black-currant, honey, fennel, mint and lemon. My family believes that the grapefruit and orange flasks have swapped labels, but perhaps other sets are correct.

Also included are 5 game boards, each of which contains six scents to identify. The boards are beautifully colored, glossy, thick cardboard.

The rules are printed in French, which is a language I can't read... but I translated them to English using Babelfish. It wasn't a perfect translation, but I was able to grok rules for two games.

The first game, Lotto of the Odors, proceeds as follows. The first player (determined however you want) picks a random flask, takes a wiff, and if he detects it as a scent on one of his game boards, places it in the appropriate location on the board. Otherwise, he passes it on to the next player. When the collection of flasks is exhausted, the labels on the bottoms of the flasks are checked to see if they were identified correctly. Any incorrect flasks are returned to the draw pile. Play resumes until a player has correctly filled his game board. The first player to do so is the winner.

The second game, Koodoo, is apparently based on a Japanese game. Players take turns choosing a flask, and trying to describe the odor to the other players. If another player identifies the odor by the description within one minute, both the describer and identifier win a point. The person with the most points after all 30 flasks have been tested is the winner.

It's probably not a game to play more than twice or so, and if you have a malfunctioning honker like me, you may not like it even those first few times. It's not a game to encourage wild behavior. Most of the game is spent watching other players quietly reach, sniff, raise an eyebrow, and perhaps utter "hmmmm" as they pass the flasks along.

If you enjoy scents, however, this may be for you!
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