Car scent playlists: this tech wants to brighten up your roadtrip


Cyrano car scent playlist device and app

One of the most common complaints about the tech experience today is that it’s flat – not particularly sensory, let alone multi-sensory. In the near-future, we know, our technology will become more animate, more human, more responsive – and more multi-sensory, adding scent, taste and touch into the experience.

Cyrano, a new scent speaker made by Vapor Communications, is one of the first steps towards that future. Forget the car scents of old, that came via tree shaped car fresheners, which rapidly lost their smell. This is a whole new scent experience.


Designed by David Edwards, the visionary inventor behind the oNotes scented SMS system, Cyrano’s scent-emitting device comes equipped with a set of three capsules (each containing four scents) that you can put on ‘playlists’ to add whatever fragrant vibe you’re searching for your next roadtrip.



Cyrano car scent playlist

Perfectly sized for use in the car, Cyrano switches between scents on an eight-minute basis, to create a “mood medley” – which range from feelings, like Energy or Freedom, to specific scenarios such as Thai Beach Vacation – a combination of coconut, sunscreen and sea breeze. The frequent rotations between smells are designed to avoid what Edwards calls “olfactory fatigue” – the olfactory ‘deafness’ to constant scent that we develop after a few minutes’ exposure.

Cyrano comes with a smartphone app called oNotes, which enables you to control the capsules, building your own combinations. The system is currently on limited-release; should you be feeling like an early-adopter who wants to try out the brave new world of multi-sensory tech, you can order one for $149.95. Cartridges cost $20 per set, and last around six weeks with average use.

Cyrano is just one example of how manufacturers are looking to improve the in-car experience, last year car manufacturer Buick dabbled with the trend by launching a 24-hour happiness test drive for potential costumers.

The test drive included a campaign with a car podcast on the topic of Happiness, from Harvard happiness researcher Shawn Achor, a custom in-car scent blended by Amanda Chantal Bacon and an in-car yoga sequence.

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