Ford’s New Mach-Eau Cologne Delivers the Scent of Gasoline to E.V. Drivers
Tasked with transitioning electric vehicles from niche to the norm, automotive designers are confronted with a singular challenge: how to incorporate the best of classic car culture, and the nostalgia that surrounds it, into new, planet-friendly cars. The soft tick of a steering wheel rewinding after a sharp turn, the satisfying vroom of an engine accelerating—which details will drivers long for if left out in future models?
According to a survey commissioned by the Ford Motor Company, the scent of gasoline is high on the list. In fact, one in five respondents said the perfume of petrol is what they’d miss most, and nearly 70 percent claimed they’d pine for the odor to some extent. In an effort to quench the desire for that sweet, chemical bouquet, Ford—which recently rolled out its new all-electric Mustang Mach-E GT—teamed up with the British fragrance consultancy Olfiction to develop the newly unveiled cologne Mach-Eau. It combines the smell of gasoline with benzaldehyde, an aroma close to that of almonds that’s commonly given off by car interiors, and para-cresol, a chemical compound that contributes to the rubbery redolence of tires. Topped with ingredients found in more traditional perfumes—such as blue ginger, geranium, lavender, and sandalwood—the fragrance taps into the well-documented relationship between smell and memory. “The Mach-Eau fragrance is designed to give [drivers] a hint of that fuel fragrance they still crave,” Jay Ward, Ford of Europe’s product communications director, notes in a statement. “It should linger long enough for the GT’s performance to make any other doubts vaporize, too.”