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The first time that I saw scented magic markers in the toy section, I instinctively knew that this was a very bad idea.

Call it a hunch.

Giving a child a marker, and then telling him that it smells nice is openly telling the child to stick the marker up their nose. This is an inevitable disaster waiting to happen.

Besides, why does ink have to be given a phoney smell in a world where wearing a fragrance is becoming taboo in public places and allergies to chemical fragrance is on the rise?

Needless to say, I didn’t buy the markers. Not then, not ever.

Try to imagine my horror one afternoon as I was picking my youngest daughter from nursery school. I took one look at her and saw some sort of monstrosity under her pretty little nose.

She looked like someone had tattooed her upper lip with an ugly moustache.

“What happened?” I asked the first teacher that I could find.

The teacher looked at my daughter and laughed.

“Oh,” she began… “We were colouring with some new scented markers, and your daughter had to smell every single one of them.”

I was not amused.

“Will it come off?” I asked her while trying my best not to sound worried.

“It should eventually…” She replied.

No doubt, some colours may be easier to fade than others. Amid the green, purple, and orange spots under her nose were big blotches of brown and black. Obviously, their fragrances must have either been delicious or hard to detect. Why else would there be dime shaped solid circles of dark ink.

For whatever reason, I do not remember what happened in the hours or even days that followed.

It’s safe to say that what wouldn’t wash off, I would have tried to get off with cold cream. Further, I highly doubt that we made any public appearances until the worst was over with.

Dear Parents, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, etc.

I beseech you…

Do not give young children scented markers.

Their world is smelly enough.