Sunday, 19 August 2012

Fruit Shoot Smencils Review (that's Smencils as in PENCILS that SMELL - see what they did there?)

September is nearly upon us once again.  Don't be sad.  Summer was pretty shoddy anyway and the kids will go back to school and leave us all in peace, thank the lord.  September also brings dew on the grass, the first conkers, a new school year and new beginnings and - SOD ALL THE REST OF IT - NEW STATIONERY.  Please tell me that someone else gets as excited about this as I do?  The purchasing of a new pencil case and geometry set (which you would never use apart from to poke the person sitting in front of you in the back) was always one of the highlights of the year.  Ahhhh, happy memories of discussing the merits and failings of different sorts of biros in WH Smiths with my friend Louisa (we favoured a green Bic, incidentally - the one with the clear barrel, not the yellow one.  The yellow ones have a finer tip, which, we decided, was not acceptable).  When I went back to university to do a PGCE at the grand old age of 26 I got to do it all over again, which gave me more pleasure than was strictly appropriate.

Imagine my elation, then, when I received a pack of five Smencils for review last week.

They are, quite simply, pencils which smell.  The ones we received were supposed to smell like the Robinsons Fruit Shoot drinks and were in various 'flavours' such as orange, strawberry, summer fruits etc.  Pencils!  Which smell of fruit!  What Magick and Trickery is this??

Rory was enamoured immediately, which is nothing short of a miracle as he usually has to be bribed to draw or write anything.  He liked writing with these though, especially as a little bit of the scent lingers on the page after using.  to be fair, I must admit that he did very little actual writing or drawing with them and mainly sat sniffing them with a beautific smile on his face.  This took me back to primary school when there was a craze for scented felt tip pens and my mum wouldn't let me have any because (in her opinion), sniffing felt tips could ONLY LEAD TO SOLVENT ABUSE.  One look at my son with a Smencil sticking out of each nostril half leads me to believe that she wasn't as mental as I'd first thought.

However, I liked them, and this is why:

1. They smell fruity. OK, not like real fruit, but definitely fruity, and strong.

2. They're made from 100% recycled newspaper, which is a great idea.

3. They sharpen really easily and are obviously good quality.

4. They made my son actually want to draw/write something.

My only criticism is that each Smencil comes in a plastic tube, which I imagine is to preserve the scent.  The plastic is biodegradable, but, hum, it seems a bit pointless to make the pencils out of recycled newspaper only to put them in plastic tubes.  I don't know how the scent would be preserved if they didn't though, so I'm no help.

Anyway - at around £1.25 per pencil (or somewhere around a fiver for a pack of 5), they're a great pocket money buy and well worth it to have the most covetable pencil case in school.

There is currently a Facebook competition to win 1 of 10 sets of Fruit Shoot Smencils.  If you would like to enter, please click here:  (closing date: 7th September). Good luck!

I was sent a pack of Smencils to review.  I have not been paid for this review and all opinions are my own.


  1. I can't stop saying "Smencil" now. I've given myself a fit of the giggles.

    I am 35 years old, have no children, and live alone.


  2. When I was a kid in the 70s we had smelly rubbers (this is not a euphemism). I had a rubber that was like a very small swiss roll and which smelled of, well, swiss roll. If swiss roll was made of rubber and smelt of non-specific sweet stuff.

    And I had one in a red and white wrapper supposed to look like the Coke label. That one was cola-scented.

    They were big news and made me very popular for as long as it took for everyone to have a sniff and say "oooh, swiss roll!".