By on July 16, 2021

Ford’s marketing for the Mach-E is getting truly bizarre. Rather than stick to the traditional method of buying up advertising space and bombarding consumers with commercials, the Blue Oval has been branching out by introducing automotive-themed fragrances. However, the gasoline-scented toilet water the company has cheekily named “Mach-Eau GT” and designed to remind customers of what they’ll be missing when they transition over to electric vehicles.

Introduced at England’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, the perfume carries notes of gasoline, rubber, and the pleasantly noxious off-gassing of interior adhesives that’s responsible for the new-car smell. But it’s exceptionally difficult to determine if this is a gag to highlight the olfactory superiority of electric vehicles or an earnest attempt to preserve the sensory experience of the traditional automobile. This is made worse by Ford’s Mach-E coming with synthetized exhaust notes designed to con the driver into thinking they’re driving something that’s burns gasoline. Are we fetishizing the past as we attempt to kill it or just mocking it? 

While the former seems likely, Ford appears to be treating this as if it’s serious. Though the most jaded among us know it matters little when the whole purpose of the fragrance was for Ford to stir up some media attention with what amounts to a rather confusing publicity stunt.

“Judging by our survey findings, the sensory appeal of petrol cars is still something drivers are reluctant to give up. The Mach Eau fragrance is designed to give them a hint of that fuel-fragrance they still crave,” stated Jay Ward, Ford’s European Director of Product Communications. “It should linger long enough for the GT’s performance to make any other doubts vaporise [sic] too.”

From Ford:

In a Ford-commissioned survey, one in five drivers said the smell of petrol is what they’d miss most when swapping to an electric vehicle, with almost 70 per cent claiming they would miss the smell of petrol 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.

The new scent is designed to help usher these drivers into the future of driving through their sense of smell. Rather than just smelling like petrol though, Mach-Eau is designed to please the nose of any wearer; a high-end fragrance that fuses smoky accords, aspects of rubber and even an ‘animal’ element to give a nod to the Mustang heritage.

The fragrance was designed with loads of help from Olfiction and has simulated a lot of scents rather than just taking a bottle to the nearest Chevron and calling it a day. Benzaldehyde was used to create the new-car smell while para-cresol simulated the scent of tires. Ford said the remaining ingredients include things like blue ginger, lavender, geranium, and sandalwood. There’s also an animal odor that’s been added to give the perfume whiff of horse that honors the Mustang name, and we all know how good horses smell.

I’m really at a loss here. But the general impression is that Mach-Eau GT probably stinks like being situated between a tannery and paper mill. That assumption has been reinforced by Ford deciding against putting the perfume on sale. Instead, it claimed the unbuyable product exists to “help dispel myths around electric cars and convince traditional car enthusiasts of the potential of electric vehicles.”

Your guess is as good as ours on how it accomplishes that.

[Images: Ford Motor Co.]

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42 Comments on “Ford Introduces Gasoline Scented Perfume to Help Sell EVs...”


  • avatar
    SPPPP

    “Brian, I’m gonna be honest with you, that smells like pure gasoline.”

    “They’ve done studies, you know. 60% of the time, it works every time.”

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Posky

      “Yep, it’s made with bits of real panther, so you know it’s good.”

      • 0 avatar
        SPPPP

        :) Exactly!

        On a tangent, just to check, I went and browsed some Mach-E parts on RockAuto, and found very little parts commonality with the Panther platform, other than one or two electrical connectors. So Ford probably can’t claim “bits of real Panther” for this one.

        Seems like there might be a few bits and bobs shared with the Volvo Taurus, though.

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          This whole thing fails the smell test!!

          And “smoky accords!” What is this?! Did they burn a Honda as inspiration for this?

          I’ve seen PR-babble that would incite projectile vomiting, but THIS release takes the cake!!

  • avatar
    ajla

    Ford loves their whimsy.

    “and convince traditional car enthusiasts”
    Maybe they should have made a traditional Mustang EV then instead of Costco Wagon wearing a Mustang skin suit?

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Well, I’m sure it beats Axe.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    By the way, this is nothing new. Mercedes has its’ own cologne, available at Dillards.

    Unfortunately, the spray bottle is designed to stop working after three years.

    Rumor has it Chevrolet is working on “C6 Corvette,” a fragrance that only activates once the wearer is over 50 and divorced.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I’m pretty sure the first Mustang-cologne was introduced in 1964 as an Avon and it has occasionally been a thing ever since.

      And I’ll die on the C6 is far less trashy looking than the C5 or C7 hill. The C5 looks like it is made of Jell-o and the C7 looks like someone took a C6 and glued plastic sh*t all over it.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        C5 is cheaper and has pop up headlights. So it wins. Plus the over 50 divorce crowd has sold tem all to people with YouTube channels.

        What you really want is that third gen Camaro fragrance. Mmmmm….Marlboros and stale Busch Lite!

      • 0 avatar
        ToolGuy

        @ajla,

        Ok wow, if you do an image search for “Mustang Avon” – I had one of those blue bottles sitting on a bookshelf in my room for years as a teen. Hadn’t remembered until you mentioned it.

        (I *think* the next-door neighbor [best friend’s mom] sold Avon and it must have been a gift at some point – because such a thing would not have been anywhere on the radar for my parents.)

        The horizontal orientation combined with wear-in of the sealing ring meant you had two options:
        a) Leaky bottle (and a big mess)
        b) VERY misaligned trunk

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Assuming this isn’t a joke, Ford is literally reeking of desperation.

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      It’s all they have. When you produce such low quality vehicles that even their dealer network says cannot be fixed, you fix it by introducing scents. Makes total sense

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I’m not going to drink the Ford Hateorade™ simply because they made one… ok a series of missteps on Mach-E. F-150 EV will be the litmus test and everyone including Dearborn knows it, this model is a pathetic sideshow. Ford would be wise to fire the idiots in charge and tone down the propaganda unless it somehow becomes a surprise hit.

        • 0 avatar
          EBFlex

          “ I’m not going to drink the Ford Hateorade™ simply because they made one… ok a series of missteps on Mach-E. F-150 EV will be the litmus test and everyone including Dearborn knows it, this model is a pathetic sideshow.”

          They both are pathetic sideshows. The missteps made on the non-Mustang are the same ones made on the F150 Mach E and Transit Mach E. It’s the same crap with a different body. Granted a lot of the problems arise simply because they are EVs but you still have the typical Ford laziness/incompetence baked into every model.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      They are plucking WOKE. I dropped all desires for Mustang

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    One of the advantages of an EV is no more gasoline stink. Diesel, especially the half burned exhaust, is even worse.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Elon Musk (pun there) will be mad he didn’t think of this.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Wasn’t this one of those Jeremy Mayfield/Mopar ads back a few years ago?

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Typical Ford. Come up with crap like this while their dealers are telling customers their non-Mustang literally cannot be fixed.

    https://www.motorbiscuit.com/ford-dealer-tells-owner-mustang-mach-e-issues-unfixable/

    Ford is such a joke of a company.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    Sorry. I used to get into my Drakkar for travel. So I’ll perfume myself with Drakkar Noir by Guy Laroche

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    April Fool’s Day was three-and-a-half months ago!

  • avatar

    Those of you who did not live in 60s-70s will not understand this. There was nothing more desirable than the smell of fresh gasoline.

  • avatar
    SoCalMikester

    some dispensers have vapor recovery. these have a boot or bellows at the nozzle that has to be pressed to seal and ingest all the vapors as the car fuels. cars since 1996 have also had onboard vapor recovery as well.

    hey ford- how about reinstating that dividend?

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Good line and may I add “Mommie mobile”

  • avatar
    Mustangfast

    We’ve been hearing about this thing for how long now? Ford and GM and others are already setting ship dates for their EV trucks, I don’t much care how many people love or hate this thing but Tesla needs to put up or shut up about this truck. The ultimate test is if it will be useful as a CUV/trucklet or not, that will determine flop or not.

  • avatar
    Old_WRX

    Do they have a hypoid gear lube variety with maybe a hint of WD-40?

  • avatar
    mcs

    This isn’t Ford’s first attempt at this. I remember V6 Cologne. Smelled mostly like burning oil from what I remember.

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