Scratch and Sniff Stickers: 80's Flashback!

Saturday, January 13, 2024
In honor of Throwback Thursday, I'm sharing my collection of scratch and sniff stickers from the 1980's. Scratch and Sniff stickers will always hold a special place in my heart. Sometimes referred to as 'stinky stickers,' or 'smelly stickers,' the mere sight of them bring back nostalgic memories for so many people. So I thought it would be fun to take a little walk down memory lane and see some of these old scratch and sniff stickers from the 1980's. Want to come along? They're all from my own collection!

Just a few words about these images: please, please please do not steal them. If you would like to use them on one of your sites or social media channels, please just ask first and link back. That would be much appreciated.

And YES some of these are for sale, so don't be afraid to send me a message if there is something you're looking for!

I decided not to use a filter on any of these photos in order to maintain the original colors. If the picture looks faded, that's probably because I'm old, and these stickers have been around for like, thirty years or more. I kept sticker books (and a file folder of stickers- crazy, I know) in the 1980's, but I also created a brand new sticker book in the year 2000 to share with my students. I took some of the stickers I had in my file folder and placed them in this album to share with them. So if some of the stickers look like they are in  perfect condition, that's why! What? Doesn't every adult create the childhood sticker book of their dreams? Or is that just me?

You can tell the difference between my old and new collections quite easily. This, clearly, is old (or should I say, original)...

And these are my newer pages. You can see the difference, right?

Sticker Collecting in the 1980's

In the 1980's, sticker books were all the rage. We used to sit in a circle on the playground and trade with each other. Most kids had their stickers in old school photo albums, but there were a few store-bought albums available from Trend and CTP on the market.

My Trend sticker album

There were a variety of scratch and sniff stickers available. My oldest in the collection were made by CTP (these are a matte finish. The newer CTP stickers had a glossier finish).

CTP mini scratch and sniff stickers

CTP also made scratch and sniff patches. I'm not sure what you were supposed to patch them on. Your jeans, maybe? *Gasp!*  I couldn't bear to do that! They smelled so good, especially that orange one on top.

And there were others known as Mello Smellos, and those icky Gordy ones that smelled like bad things (like garbage and dead fish- why??). But I had those, too.

There were Smurf scratch and sniff stickers...

And Garfield ones, too...

But perhaps the most well known were the variety created by Trend Enterprises.

There are a few CTP and non-Trend varieties in here, but does it matter?
All Trend stickers on this page!
This was the last page of my Trend sticker book from the 1980's

Trend Enterprises still produces scratch and sniff stickers today, but I'll be honest, they're not quite the same. The stickers are smaller, don't smell as strong, and don't feature the beloved variety of food items that they used to. As far as I know, these were the first generation of 'newer' scratch and sniff stickers by Trend. I used these in my classroom...

Then here's where they made them a little smaller, a little less cute (in my personal opinion, anyway), and a little less smelly...

Don't get me wrong, though, I think kids of all ages still love scratch and sniff stickers, no matter what they look like (do you hear me, teachers? I don't care if your students are in the 6th grade! Who doesn't love a smelly sticker? I mean, really!!)

 For years I've been saying, why, Trend, why??  People of Trend, hear me now! I truly believe you could bring this fad back! Re-release your stickers from the 80's! Rise up and bestow your stickers to the masses! Let's start the chanting now, shall we? 'Bring back (insert your favorite sticker scent here)!'

My mom (proudly referred to now as The Jersey Grandma) was a teacher back in the 80's, and sometimes she would take my sister and I to teacher supply stores. This was a dream come true for a sticker collector, because they sold scratch and sniff stickers in multi-packs in these types of stores, as well as certificates and bookmarks. My mom even went to some vendor events, where CTP had its own table. They would sometimes hand out bookmarks or stickers exclusive to that event (like the yellow bookmark in the photo below).

Can you believe I hung onto this stuff all these years? Ironically, I had so many of the certificates and bookmarks that I actually used some of them in my own classroom when I became a teacher. My students were receiving vintage reward incentives! The ones in my collection now are all that remains, like the last glowing seed of Fantasia.  Sigh.

Online Scratch and Sniff Sticker Resources

So I know there are sticker collectors out there ready to tell me about all of the types and varieties that these companies released (I know there were matte and glossy ones, I know there were first editions and rares and all of that stuff). But honestly, as much as I appreciate your knowledge, this post is not a guidebook for collectors. It's just a nostalgic trip down memory lane. If you want to read all about vintage scratch and sniff stickers, you can check out the Amazon book, Vintage Scratch and Sniff Collector's Guide, by Neil A. Galin and Amy Peppler (that's my affiliate link).  Just be aware that the book is in black and white, which seems to upset a lot of collectors out there. 

Photo from
If you're still in love with all things stickery, or maybe you are inspired to create your own adult sticker book now, I included some handy dandy Amazon affiliate links below. too.  You can read more about my Amazon affiliate links on my Disclosure page. Happy shopping!


  1. What a fun walk down memory lane. I used to love those stickers. I am going to have to get some for my daughter.

    1. Definitely!! I would love to revive this fad! Thanks for visiting.

  2. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your site! I re-discovered "smelly" stickers recently and it prompted me to pull out my old sticker books and reminisce. I ordered some new vintage stickers off of eBay to start a book with my 6-year old daughter and I'm just as excited as I was back in the day! Thank you for the great information and too hope they bring back the original matte stickers because they still smell great after 30+ years!

    1. Aw, thanks so much, Brenda!! I love when I find people as excited as I am about smelly stickers and collecting stickers in general! I think we need to start a campaign to get Trend to produce those vintage ones again. Thanks so much for visiting and for your kind words. I hope you have many years of sticker collecting fun with your daughter. :)

  3. That was an awesome flashback!! I was all about the scratch & sniff stickers back in the day �� I remember wanting the gingerbread ones desperately at Christmas time. I had at least one of nearly all the stickers you have shown here. Sadly, my cute pink and white sticker book is long gone...but I have a whole bunch of new ones that I ordered off ebay and am collecting for my daughter (who really couldn't care less lol)

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting, Keri! Maybe someday your daughter will show some interest in them. I know it's fun to create your own book either way. Happy sticker collecting! Long live the eighties! lol

  4. Loved reading this blog. I too loved and still do love, my old sticker books especially the sniffy ones. I joined a scratch and sniff sticker club for me! I have a puppy who loves scratch and sniff books, but I get sniffy things for me! I too am in NJ. Thanks for sharing your pics. Even just seeing them brings back such positive feelings!

    1. Aw, this made my day, thanks!! It makes me so happy to find other people who appreciate the 80's and those stickers we used to collect. Thanks for reading!

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