Can you remember the smell of your car before the smells of fast food, infant belching, dog poop, and the desperate efforts of fading air fresheners began to dominate?
Car giant Nissan takes the smell of a new car very seriously, so it uses “certified smelling devices” to offer its customers a pleasant smell experience when they get into one of its cars for the first time. And hopefully the second and third time as well.
The Japanese automaker just released a video that reveals why it believes the smell of a new car is just as important as the way it looks and feels.
Tori Keerl, a materials engineer at the Nissan Technical Center near Detroit, works as one of its certified smelling devices. She explains in the video how she does her job and sniffs at various points in the interior of a car to make sure that the smells meet a certain standard.
“I think the smell of a new car improves the driving experience,” says Keerl. “It is pretty important for US customers that the smell of a new car reminds them of the time they bought their first car. It makes them really excited about the opportunities this new car will bring them. “
Becoming a smell tester at Nissan requires multiple smelling sessions that cover a wide range of smells. “As soon as you have been tested and passed all five smells, you can stand on the smell board,” explains Keerl.
As part of their work, a Nissan tester smells various parts of the vehicle interior with his carefully trained nose. They then make a list of the good and bad smells they find and use the data they collect to determine if the car meets Nissan’s stringent odor requirements.
Keerl says the smell of a new vehicle gradually changes over the years as automakers move to using natural products designed to be gentle on not only testers’ nasal membranes, but customers too.
The certified nose says that she finds her job fascinating and likes to tell others about her job.
Nissan notes that Keerl recently got a whiff of its 2022 Pathfinder SUV, despite the automaker’s refusal to describe what it smells like. New, probably.