Why Nissan Has Smellmasters and What They Do

Nissan Smellmaster 8 photos
Photo: Nissan Global
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A lot of things go unnoticed about cars. Everyday people categorize them as being just some metal parts stuck together with some wheels that help us move from point A to point B. In reality, the whole thing that surrounds this product is much, much more complicated. There`s a whole universe of things that remain unknown for the average consumer.
When it comes to buying a new car, one thing's for sure: you will be enjoying it more from the inside. Looks are cool, yes, but nothing beats the ability to be supremely comfortable with the choice you made. Therefore, the welcoming smell must be one that will stick into your memory. Eventually, you will want that crazy good feeling back – and you will be wanting to pay for it.

This is why Nissan decided to share their story about smellmasters and their important role in the company.

Ryunosuke Ino fulfills this job at the Japanese company. He has to decide what is a pleasant smell for the new customers that spend money on Nissan's cars. His real role is that of Technical Expert for Vehicle Interior Air Quality, but smellmaster just sounds better.

The specialist points out how they assess various smells in all the cars that leave the factory. He spends time with the cars and really inhales a lot of the cabin fragrance. Ino gets close to various parts like the steering wheel or the seats, but also collaborates with his colleagues to simulate different environments.

Nissan Smellmaster
Photo: Nissan Global on YouTube
He says that each smell is different, and temperature is a key factor. So, naturally, Nissan has set up a lab where they can try specific seasons or environments.

Sniffing is part of the job

He avoids eating any food with a powerful smell just to get the fragrance right a day before starting work. He needs to be able to identify if anything is wrong. Ino wants to be always confident about his assertion.

The smellmaster must also check other places in the car. Ino says he will check the sun visors, the glovebox, the central armrest. He does all of this while trying to seat in the same position as the future owner.

Because cars have different options packages, he also has to smell the front and rear seats. He will even see to the footwell having the right smell note. The use of varied materials cannot become an olfactive problem. He checks each component individually.

Nissan`s technician says the company has a high standard for a vehicle`s smell. If it isn`t met accordingly, he takes the first step to fix it by identifying the origin. Ino starts by checking the relevant information from the supplier and verifies the material analysis. He confirms that in some cases at least one material had to be completely phased out and replaced just because of the smell.

Nissan Smellmaster
Photo: Nissan Global on YouTube
Moreover, Ryunosuke Ino is the only Nissan employee in charge of setting the standard of car smells. But he is responsible only for Japan! The carmaker has different technicians that fulfill this burden in other regions. Customer feedback has made this a priority, as cultural background may change some production plans along the way just because fragrance isn`t exactly right.

Each Nissan smellmaster must decide how the cars sold in their region will finally smell like. They have to be sure of their decision. Their opinion is the final one and it will apply for every equipment level the car company offers at that time.

Because it`s really complicated to find people willing to work in this field and because they need to have a certain skillset, Nissan has started a certification program just for this job alone. He or she who passes becomes a smellmaster.

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About the author: Florin Amariei
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Car shows on TV and his father's Fiat Tempra may have been Florin's early influences, but nowadays he favors different things, like the power of an F-150 Raptor. He'll never be able to ignore the shape of a Ferrari though, especially a yellow one.
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