How important is smell in car design?

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Car Design News chats to design firm Full Fathom about multisensory design

At its core, car design comes down to emotion. The way a vehicle looks and feels can decide whether it sells, whether it excites passengers, and can also say a lot about the company behind it.

But there might be an untapped field that could unlock new gains in brand power and consumer satisfaction: multisensory design. This describes how neuroscience is being woven into the way experiences and products are built, either for branding or functional purposes. 

Today, car design generally comes down to two or three senses: how it looks, how it feels and how it sounds. Smell does not always enter the equation despite extensive research that proves it can have an impact on all other senses. And even with sight, touch and sound, there is room for improvement. Brands do not always take the time to ensure there is a seamless multisensory design.

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