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How the New BMW 7-Series Got Its New Car Smell

by John Thomas

Did you know that those classic Little Trees air fresheners that hang from your rear view mirror come in a “New Car Scent.” Not only is it a best-seller, but I have smelled one and it really does have that car-in-the-showroom smell.

For their 2016 7-Series, this was not an option for BMW. The German carmaker went all out to create an elegant odoriferous environment for the inside of their flagship sedan. They actually hired a professional scent creator from France who took three years to come up with an appropriate aroma for the new model. In a video profile of the scent artist, she describes what she did and how she did it. In short, the final product is a series of eight different “unisex” scent cartridges that an owner can insert into a specific compartment hidden in the glove compartment. The scents, which are described as “refreshing,” woody” and “comfortable,” are activated by pressing a control panel button that has an icon that looks like a perfume bottle spritzing out liquid.

Maybe this new automotive aromatherapy will appeal to some BMW buyers, but it seems a bit complicated and overwhelming to me. As one person put in the comments to the video on Youtube, “BMW owners care about driving not smelling (unless it’s burnt rubber).”

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