French-born Annabelle Kanzow-Coffinet is a professional scent maker who’s worked for three years at BMW to create the smell of the all-new BMW 7 Series.

The optional Ambient Air package in the new 7 Series features options to ionize the air or fragrance the vehicle interior with selected scents, both of which can be controlled from the air conditioning control console or the iDrive menu. There are three levels of intensity and 8 scents to choose from. The scents can be chosen from the Blue Suite and Green suite, and Golden Suite and Authentic Suite.

In an interview, Annabelle talks about the process of creating a scent for a car and what are some of the challengers encountered in this process.


Can you please describe BMW through a scent?

Annabelle: For the first time we developed eight different and elegant car scents especially for the BMW 7 Series. Each scent has a special natural character and is as multifaceted as the BMW brand itself. One of the special pleasures of owning a new car is the special scent of the new car.

Could you tell us more about that experience, what builds that scent? And how is the BMW 7 Series scent integrated in that experience?

Annabelle: The acceptance of the smell of a new car is highly personal and the BMW Group decided to neutralize the interior material odor as much as possible. Furthermore, we offer the car passenger the unique possibility to customize with his favorite fragrance, the ambiance of the car according to his mood. This emotional experience is enhancing the well being and comfort of the new BMW 7 Series.

What are the challenges for creating a scent for the car, as this is such a special and restrictive environment?

Annabelle: During the fragrance development, it was important to validate the best quality fragrances with natural raw materials and to follow BMW’s safety regulations policy approved with toxicologists. The stability of scents is also tested in several use case situations.

What are the main characteristics of the BMW 7 Series scents you created?

Annabelle: Noble woods are the perfect material to link luxurious scents and BMW 7 series. They are represented with the Golden and the Authentic Suite in the palette of the BMW 7 Series. The Blue and the Green Suite of the BMW 7 Series could be classified as refreshing fragrances and could be seen as an interpretation of Efficient Dynamics within the BMW brand.