If ever you have wondered what the fragrance of jasmine, sandalwood, and rose has to do with stamps, the day-long philately exhibition at the Head Post Office, Pandeshwara, on Wednesday had the answers.

A set of three stamps, released by India Post, carrying the fragrance of flowers and sandalwood, was on display at the exhibition. Dakshina Kannada Philatelic and Numismatic Association joint secretary Mansoor B. Hussain opened the plastic wrapper to show the stamps with fragrance of jasmine. Although the fragrance was fading nevertheless it was there unmistakably.

The first fragrant stamp to be released in India was that of sandalwood in 2006, followed by the rose smelling one in 2007 and the latest has been the one emitting the sweet fragrance of jasmine in 2008. The jasmine stamp is still available in the head post office, Mr. Hussain said.

Golden stamps

Many may not know that some of stamps come with golden foils and the glitter continues for years. Among the collections on display were Tonga stamps in gold foil and Mr. Hussain's own collections on Russia. Interestingly, the golden stamps in his collection though highlighted Russian themes were released in Switzerland and the certificate issued by the Swiss authorities in this regard too was on display.

A large number of stamps on elephants collected by G.G. Lakshman Prabhu were worth the attention. His collections segregated along various themes relating to elephants include philatelic collections from Tanzania to Thailand and from the U.S. to the U.K.

Association vice-president Baikampady Srinivas Rao had butterfly stamps on display. Then there was a series of stamps arranged along the Kannada alphabet. Another set of stamps that showed human eyes captured showing many emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt.

Philately jargon

To introduce philately jargon to youngsters stamps such as Tete Beche stamps (stamps with mirror images), se-tenant stamps (atypical two-in-one stamps), maximum card (post card with big image of a stamp and cancelled actual size stamp) were on display. There were many first day covers and embossed stamps. Other attractions included a nine paise post card issued in 1940s with the image of the Mahatma holding a baby in his arms, stamps jointly released by a few countries (joint issues), and share transfer stamps.

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