June 6, 2020

Car Spotter / Blogger / Reviewer

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Next time you sit in your car, take a moment to inhale deeply through your nose. If you’ve had the vehicle for a while, you might not immediately notice its unique scent – but now’s the time to appreciate it again.


Every car has a distinct scent; whether it’s that rich leather smell associated with classic cars, or the slightly chemically ‘bite’ of a new vehicle. Whatever scent you love, here’s some further information about it, and some ideas on how to recreate it.

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Getting the scent of a car in other areas of your life

A true petrolhead loves everything about driving, and that includes the vehicle’s smell. We’re a nation of car-lovers, which is probably why driverless automobiles never caught on! Being in a car is a sensory experience; from the vibration of the motor and shine of the dashboard, to the intoxicating smell of the materials around you.


New car smells

The scent of a new car is likely to be one of the first things you notice about it. Some describe this aroma as unpleasant, while others love it so much, they invest in air fresheners that promise to recreate it. Some go as far as to say it improves their overall driving experience.

Chemists believe that the scent of a new car is down to the volatile organic compounds used in the plastic surfaces and fabric seating, not to mention the solvents and sealants.


Classic vehicles

Classic car scents are much more universally liked. However, there’s a lot of variation between cars. Old 1960s beetles have that squeaky-clean vinyl smell, which matures over time, becoming almost sweet after a few decades.

Other cars are likely to be dominated by the scent of worn leather and panelled wood. There’s something very ‘gentleman’s club’ about these scents, which is hard to resist.


Introducing car-scent into other areas of your life

If you adore the scent of an older vehicle, here’s what to do:


  • Invest in similar fabrics / materials. If you’re in love with the smell of polished wooden panelling, invest in similar furniture for your house – it’ll produce the same sort of scent! The same applies to vinyl (it’s not hard to find kitchen chairs that are upholstered with this fabric).


  • Search for specific fragrances. Sites like Copycat Fragrances have some colognes that are heavily inspired by classic cars. For example, their version of Tuscan Leather immediately brings to mind a speedy Aston Martin, with its notes of wood and leather.


  • Scented candles / diffusers. There are some scented candles and diffusers that recreate the scent of a car; which are ideal for filling the entire house with the aroma that you love.


Caring for what you’ve got

It goes without saying that you should look after the existing scents in your car. Remember to treat leather seating with conditioner, for example. Wipe surfaces down regularly to prevent a build-up of dirt too – as grime will block out the natural smells of the materials.


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