Our reporter pulls out all the stops in an attempt the quantify the as-yet-unexperienced olfactory power of these chips. 

Smelly much? For a moment, he thought he had cracked open a tube of pure garlic paste. The smell was simply that overpowering.

“He” was our Japanese-language reporter Yuichiro Wasai. The offending object was a pack of Muji‘s 390 yen (US$3.65) “Potato Chips Garlic Sauce Flavour” made from France-grown potatoes. After reading online reports of the chips’ abnormally overwhelming odor, curiosity got the best of him and he just had to purchase a pack. He was perversely delighted to discover that they indeed live up to their reputation–perhaps even exceed it.

Yuichiro could only describe the initial opening of the pouch as an all-out assault on his nasal cavity. He likened this kind of sensory punch to a fisherman about to be wrenched from his position by a biting marlin.

▼ They appeared innocuous enough, like any other bag of thick-cut potato chips…

▼ …but were hiding an invisible sleeper agent.

▼ Even his mask-wearing coworker could feel the garlic’s olfactory punch.

The bag also reeked of promising SoraNews24 investigative journalism potential…like what would happen if he left the bag in front of an air purifier, as our team has been known to do on occasion before.

Yuuichiro was intrigued. To his knowledge the office air purifier had never been properly introduced to the smell of garlic before, so how would it react? Wouldn’t it be hilarious if it made an automated announcement along the lines of “The room’s air is unbelievably polluted”?

Caught up in his wild delusions of achieving niche internet fame, he positioned the open bag of chips near the air purifier’s vents and began to count the seconds.

One minute transpired…

Then two minutes…

Three minutes, while changing position…

But alas, there was no response. What was wrong, oh Illustrious Air Purifier? Why wasn’t the garlic affecting your receptors like flatulence had? Were you programmed to react to a garlic as a clean agent?

Whatever the reason, the machine remained undisturbed in the end. But Yuuichiro, still feeling unsettled, resolved to try using a bad breath detector next.

He made sure to use the gadget before taking a single bite to determine the base value of his breath. He scored a perfectly low “zero” during this pre-experimental stage.

Phew! He had been anxious to see what the reading would be since he hadn’t eaten anything yet. If he had scored a “two” on an empty stomach, maybe it would have been time to reevaluate his dental hygienic practices…

It only made sense that the value would rise after eating the chips. Registering at the highest value of “five” would be fitting retribution for his assaulted nasal parts. However, he would settle for a “three” or a “four” to demonstrate once and for all that there was, in fact, an abnormal level of smelliness about the chips.

He began munching on them:

Comparing other varieties of garlic-flavored chips to a small poke in the mouth, these Muji chips were like getting clocked in the kisser with an avalanche of bricks. Confident that his mouth was now at an all-time stinky, he breathed on the detector…

(Obligatory anticipatory wait)

…and was met again by a big, fat “zero.”

What the heck was going on?! He knew without a shadow of a doubt that his breath was tainted (and would continue to be so several hours later). There was no way this wouldn’t be registering on the device. Were there also limits to what it could compute?

Parodying the sixth ending theme song of popular anime Rurouni Kenshin, “1/3 True Feelings” by Siam Shade, Yuichiro lamented, “Not even 1/3 of the smell will reach you. Even though I smell it to the point of breaking, my efforts to share my true feelings about the garlic smell continue to go nowhere. My heart…”

All of that is to say that the chips were really, incredibly, inconceivably smelly. It’s probably best if you don’t open a bag at work or before meeting someone. Since Yuichiro couldn’t find a way to quantify their odor on his own, you’ll just have to (try not to) knock yourself out trying them for yourself.

Photos © SoraNews24
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