A lot of kids think that studying history stinks. But a series of children's books proves that history can make "scents."

Oxford University Press has just launched "Smelly Old History," a series with "scratch 'n' sniff" panels that supplement the lighthearted text and color illustrations.Each of the first three books - "Tudor Odours," "Roman Aromas" and "Victorian Vapours" - contains five scratching panels. Readers may sniff their way through history, aided by the fragrance of roses, chocolate and bath oils, as well as the stench of rotting fish, sewers and factory fumes.

Author Mary Dobson is a senior research officer at Oxford's Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine. The 32-page paperback books retail at $7.95 each.