Just like a new car, a new Apple product has a distinct, fresh-yet-chemically smell. It’s hard to pinpoint the cause, but it’s probably some mix of plastic wrap, white cardboard, rubber from the cords and maybe some leftover cleaning product. To a lot of Apple fans, it smells good. But also like a new car, it’s hard to say if it smells good objectively, or if it smells good because throwing down $500-plus to own a new iPad or MacBook Pro feels good. It’s the same with a new car. If Apple products and cars didn’t exist, and you opened up a new toaster or walked into a Bodega and smelled that silvery, disinfected plastic smell, would it smell as nice?
It’s hard to say, but Greatest Hits, an artistic collaborative comprised of Gavin Bell, Jarrah de Kuijer and Simon McGlinn, collaborated with scent marketers at Air Aroma to recreate the scent of a new MacBook Pro, and package it as a cologne, disassociating the scent from the product. Air Aroma writes about the process:
The scent requested by our client was quite unusual so we contacted our fragrance suppliers in the South of France to send over samples of fragrances with the aroma of glue, plastic, rubber and paper. Air Aroma fragrance designers then used these samples as ingredients to create a range of signature blend fragrances. The blends, each with unique recipes were then tested in the Air Aroma laboratory until a final fragrance was ultimately selected.
To replicate the smell a brand new unopened Apple was sent to our fragrance lab in France. From there, professional perfume makers used the scents they observed unboxing the new Apple computer to source fragrance samples. On completion the laptop was sent back to Australia, travelling nearly 50,000kms and returned to our clients together with scent of an Apple Macbook Pro.
Greatest Hits will diffuse the aroma at an exhibition at West Space in Melbourne.