A claimed 70 percent of electric car buyers said they would miss the smell of gas when switching to a plug-in vehicle. This is according to Ford, which to promote its upcoming Mach-E GT has created a fragrance intended to smell like petroleum.

Yes, you read that correctly and no, today is not the first of April. Ford goes on to say the smell of gasoline ranked as a more popular scent than wine and cheese, and was almost identical to the aroma of used books, according to its own research.

Called Mach-Eau (because of course it is) Ford says the fragrance is “designed to please the nose of any wearer; a high-end fragrance that fuses smokey accords, aspects of rubber and even an ‘animal’ element to give a nod to the Mustang heritage.”

Ford there, eager to avoid saying its new fragrance smells like horse.

Clearly, I would be falling short as a journalist if I didn’t try the fragrance for myself. A sample arrived in the mail the very next day, although sadly not in the gas pump-style bottle used to promote the fragrance. And, well, it smells pretty nice. It isn’t intended for sale so can’t actually be used, but the sample bottle sits on my desk and gets the occasional sniff.

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The fragrance was created to promote the new Mustang Mach-E GT electric car FORD

I’m no olfactory expert, but Ford says it worked with UK-based Olfiction to create the fragrance. Olfiction says the starting point for the fragrance was “the chemicals that are emitted from car interiors, engines and petrol.” We all love a bit of new-car smell, don’t we?

The company added: “This included benzaldehyde, which is an almond-like scent given off by car interiors, and para-cresol which is key in creating the rubbery scent of tires. These were blended with ingredients like blue ginger, lavender, geranium and sandalwood that added metallic, smokey and further rubbery accents, as well as an overdose of Timut pepper, utlitizing the petrol-like topnote.”

Of course, the point of all this is to promote the upcoming Ford Mustang Mach-E GT, the high-performance flagship of the company’s EV range. Now available to order online, the Mach-E GT has a 480-horsepower, all-wheel-drive powertrain and a 0-62mph time of 3.7 seconds.

Meanwhile, the extended-range Mach-E can now be hired via Turo. The car is only available in London for now, with prices starting at £75 per day.

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