At Nissan, an in-house “smell meister” determines the brand’s new-car smell.
It turns out there is a science to new-car smell – and companies have experts to make sure the cabin plastics and other materials have a pleasant aroma.
Nissan’s Ryunosuke Ino is the brand’s in-house “smell meister”, whose job it is to check the aroma of new vehicles.
Like any master of craft, Ino-san is thorough, also checking “air conditioning systems” and “how vehicle smells can change over time.”
According to Nissan, “smells travel via the body’s olfactory neuron tracts to brain centers focusing on memory and emotions” which is why “a car smell can trigger strong memories”.
Nissan also exposes its vehicles to intense sunlight, heat and humidity – then sends Ino-San in for a sniff.
He says “some experts have their own way of reaching a baseline, such as smelling coffee beans, to calibrate.”
“In my case, I reset my nose by smelling my arm near my elbow. This is familiar, so it prepares me to detect new scents.”
He also added: “The day before a (smell) check, I try not to eat garlic dishes and foods with strong smells.”
As customers in different countries prefer different smells, Nissan has teams in North America and Europe conducting similar sniff testing.
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