The upcoming New York Auto show is going to be a big deal for Nissan, and not because of any car reveals or anything stupid like that. It's going to be big because Nissan will be the first carmaker in the history of time to willingly integrate a fragrance into their motor show stand. This is a game-changer, people.
Of course, other carmakers have had scent-enhanced displays before. Daewoo, for example, had a thick, permeating scent of despair and desperation at their 2001 Los Angeles Auto Show booth that was roundly praised by auto journalists as "encompassing the pathos" of the brand. The scent was later revealed to be non-intentional.
Nissan's partnership with Air Aroma does mark the first time a custom-crafted stench was produced for a given automaker. Here's how Air Aroma's press release describes the odor:
Using the Kansei methodology, a form of engineering that translates the consumers' psychological feelings and needs to improve upon products and services, the Air Aroma fragrance team created a bespoke fragrance that is a true representation of the multinational automotive juggernaut. Starting with keywords from the brand, Air Aroma matches fragrance elements through a rating system – removing the personal preferences of those involved in the decision-making process. In this case, they focused on power, beauty, innovation, excitement, efficiency and Nissan's green initiative. The end result is a fragrance incorporating notes of bergamot, cardamom, thyme, nutmeg, jasmine, green tea, amber, cedarwood and gaiac wood.
After various testing meetings in Los Angeles and Yokohama, the Air Aroma and Nissan Branding teams worked in tandem to fine-tune and perfect the scent. The fragrance radiates credibility, significance and strength, which supports Nissan as a market leader and touches upon the rich history of the brand.
So, when you go to Nissan's stand and deeply inhale, make a note if that air you suck in seems more credible and significant. Because there's a reason. I'm guessing the green tea and jasmine reflect Nissan's Japanese heritage, and that cedarwood and gaiac wood and all those spices are all the results of a sophisticated computer algorithm that cross-references intellectual concepts with emotions and then uses a random number generator or some shit.
The actual process for creating the scent was described by COO of Air Aroma Alan van Roemburg, as
Choosing the perfect value adding fragrance for a company is not art. It is based upon research, knowledge and a rigorous elimination process.
... which is interesting, because I myself have been known to create odors using a "rigorous elimination process."
Shelby American has so far been the only other company to respond to the announcement, pledging to bring a pair of industrial air compressors that will blast the smell of smoldering, crisping meat at 600 PSI throughout its booth.