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The North Otago Museum is waiting for its first entry in the "Re-create the smell of Lane's Emulsion" competition, but suspects people may be taking time to experiment to get it right.
The museum is planning an exhibition on Lane's Emulsion, a tonic invented by Oamaru pharmacist Edward Lane in 1898 and manufactured locally until 1984.
It was fed to generations of New Zealand children, despite its smell and texture, described as "the consistency of melted ice-cream" with a strong fishy smell from the cod liver oil in it.
As part of the exhibition, museum curator Chloe Searle challenged people to re-create the smell, providing about half a cup of the concoction they invented, along with the recipe.
The competition, announced on May 14, closes on May 31.
Yesterday, Ms Searle said there had been no entries yet, but there was much interest in the competition.
"It may be that people are experimenting to get it right before entering," she said.
Lane's Emulsion was originally produced by Mr Lane at the chemist shop in Tees St he took over from his father in the 1880s, and then in a factory in a historic building in Harbour St, which still bears the company's name and signage, including the slogan "It's Famous Because It's Good".
The original recipe contained cod liver oil, beechwood creosote, mineral lime, soda, brandy, vitamins, fresh egg yolk and some secret ingredients.
Oamaru company Crombie and Price, which bought Lane's Medicine in 1971, still holds the rights and recipe to the product.