That “new car smell”

Published 3:46 pm Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Is there any fragrance that is more identifiable than that “new car smell?” When I get my car serviced at the car dealership where I bought it, I like to go to the showroom and act as if I’m interested in buying a new car. I get in, close the door, and adjust the seat so that I can sit back and enjoy that “new car smell.”

After about ten minutes, the General Sales Manager of the dealership taps on the window of the door and says, “Okay, that’s enough! Get out before you suck all the ‘new car smell’ out. That’s for people who actually want to buy.”

I have seen a few car fragrance tags that suggest that they have the fragrance down and label the tag “New Car Smell.” I might have fallen for that come-on one time, but no more. You simply cannot duplicate the “new car smell” on some sort of piece of paper.

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So what is it? What is the set of circumstances that combine to give us the “new car smell?” I’m glad you asked. I googled it for you and wouldn’t you know it? Environmental scientists tell us that the smell of the interior of a new car is not good for us!

I think it’s the same group of researchers who tell us that most of the food that tastes really good is not healthy. Things like eggs and bacon. Eat enough of things like that and you might not live to be a hundred! My daddy ate bacon and eggs all of his life and, sure enough, he only made it to ninety. But, he died with a smile on his face!

The researchers identified at least 275 toxic chemicals that contribute to the “new car smell.” I won’t go into the list; I can’t spell them and, besides, you don’t really want to know, do you? What you are more apt to want is to sit in a new car and enjoy the smell of it for a few weeks instead of being told Honda or Ford ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Thankfully, the researchers tell us, the “new car smell” only lasts for about five weeks. I can help reduce that by purchasing a few Krystal hamburgers and leaving them in the car overnight. Add fries to that and your new car smell will be a thing of the past in 24 hours.

The reality of the situation is that you are more likely to die from the sticker shock that’s on the window than from any toxic chemicals emanating from the vinyl dash and the “Corinthian” leather covering the seats.

I also read that the car manufacturers are working hard to eliminate the “new car smell” because the researchers have told them about their findings. So now, we’re going to pay our tens of thousands for the new car and not even get the benefit of the iconic fragrance. No, thank you!

I guess we could all just buy used vehicles and not put ourselves at risk, which reminds me of a car my daddy got at a great price one time. There was only one problem. We found out that the great price was the result of an odor inside the car. It smelled like sour milk because a milk shake had been spilled on the carpet.

We thought we could endure the fragrance of sour milk, but it was too much. Try picking up your girlfriend and, like a gentleman, opening the door to a blast of sour milk! It was hard to get another date with her.

I can testify. The “new car smell” works much better.