The first time I ever made a smoke
generator was in the 1960s at school - for flow visualisation in a wind tunnel I was build
ing. There there was no shortage of power, so i used a 1/4" glass
tube wrapped with asbestos and nichrome heating wire, and boiled paraffin in it - no wick. Loads of lovely white smoke
once it was forced through a cooling
fan - but it was oily and smelly, and not ideal for lab work....
Later when I built
a Revell Bluebell corvette
, I made a shallow perspex dish with the glass
-fibre wick, and used the smoke
fluid from a disco smoke
-maker. That's essentially a glycol/water mix - much less smelly. Unless they add perfume....
I suspect that paraffin would be less smelly outdoors, though fire and an oily residue would be hazards. You should be able to get a bottle of glycol smoke
/fog fluid for less than a fiver....