Have you ever sat in a brand-new car with clean seats, crystal clear windows, a boatload of plastic covers and the “new car smell?” Have you ever wondered where that smell came from?”
Driving the news: Studies show that odor can elicit an emotional response. Car companies like Nissan have professionals working on new cars to create that special scent, according to CNN Business.
Details: Tori Keerl, a “certified smeller,” is a materials engineer at Nissan. Her job consists of overseeing odor experts who make sure your car smells exactly how it should — a mix of vinyl, plastic, glue and leather.
“Every time we launch a vehicle, we have to test the odor of it,” she said. Her team conducts sniff tests for every car part before it’s installed, to make sure all scents are pleasant.
After all the parts are put in place, members of her team “sit in the vehicle and we make sure that, as we’re sitting in the driver’s seat and as you’re sitting in the back seat, you’re smelling that good new car smell,” she said.
This “new car smell” gets diluted when the car starts getting used. Whether it's your half-eaten sandwich or the stuff your shoes brought inside, the smell deteriorates 20% each week, according to the Irish Times.
What can car owners do?: If you want to keep the smell intact, vacuum regularly, clean the floor mats, shampoo the seats and clean the vents. MotorBiscuit advises owners of older cars to use a variety of air fresheners, surface wipes and aerosol sprays to help bring back some of that smell.