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New Ford fragrance will give EV drivers a smell of their petrol past

A bottle of new Ford Mach-Eau.
A bottle of new Ford Mach-Eau.
Image: Supplied

Electric cars are destined to rule the world. Like it or not, the switch from liquified dinosaur bones to joules is simply inevitable.

What will we miss the most when this finally happens?

According to Ford, one in five drivers said the smell of petrol is what they’d pine for most when making the move to electric, with almost 70% of those surveyed claiming they would miss the smell to some degree. Petrol also ranked as a more popular scent than both wine and cheese, and almost identically to the smell of new books.

This is why Ford has created Mach-Eau, a premium fragrance for those who crave the performance of its new all-electric Mustang Mach-E GT yet still hold a fondness for the evocative, nostalgic smells of traditional petrol-powered cars. Designed to usher these drivers into the future through their sense of smell, Mach-Eau fuses smoky accords, aspects of rubber and even an “animal” element to give a nod to the Mustang nameplate. 

How was it made?

A millennial enjoying a whiff of motoring's past.
A millennial enjoying a whiff of motoring's past.
Image: Supplied

According to Ford, Mach-Eau was created in collaboration with renowned fragrance consultancy Olfiction with ingredients that each add a specific element of the scent’s story. Pia Long, an associate perfumer in the British Society of Perfumers, who has worked with some of the most famous perfume brands, was instrumental in its inception.

Her starting point was to look into the chemicals emitted from car interiors, engines and petrol. This included benzaldehyde, which is an almond-like scent given off by car interiors, and para-cresol which is key in creating the rubbery scent of tyres. 

These were blended with ingredients like ginger, lavender, geranium and sandalwood that added metallic, smoky and further rubbery accents. An “animal” element was also included, giving an impression of wild free-ranging ponies to underline the Mustang heritage.

“Judging by our survey findings, the sensory appeal of petrol cars is still something drivers are reluctant to give up,” says Jay Ward, Director of Ford Europe Product.

“The Mach-Eau fragrance is designed to give them a hint of that fuel-fragrance they still crave. It should linger long enough for the GT’s performance to make any other doubts vapourise too.”

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