Nissan Formula E Team creates its own perfume, telling its competitors to “Smell my Dust”

The perfume is aapperently a mix of cherry blossom - a connection with Nissan’s Japanese heritage - and tyre rubber. This sounds like an updated Comme des Garçons perfume concept. And like it might give me a headache if I wore it.

With driver Oliver Rowland securing 6 podiums this season and driver Sacha Fenestraz holding the fastest lap in the history of Formula E, Nissan is feeling confident.

So what else would the team and its agency Dark Horses do to demonstrate to its rivals that it's a force to be reckoned with? Yep, create its own perfume called “Smell my Dust” and create a spoof perfume ad to launch it, showing the humorous side of the team off the track.

Matthieu Rouxel at Nissan Formula E Team said: “Nissan is looking to change brand opinion among tomorrow’s car buyers, specifically those under the age of 35. Nissan Formula E team is the perfect vehicle (no pun intended) to target this audience. And the perfume is the perfect way for us to tell our competitors to smell our dust.”

It’s well known that wearing perfume has been scientifically proven to boost confidence and mood, so to celebrate Nissan’s first race in Shanghai, Dark Horses has created a fragrance like no other. The perfume has a cherry blossom scent, to keep a strong connection between the team and one of Japan’s most iconic symbols but is also mixed with remnants of tires, reflective of Nissan’s success on the track so far this season.

Paco Lopez, Creative Director at Dark Horses, said: Given the team’s success on the track so far this season, our clients were looking for an idea that encapsulates Nissan’s competitiveness, grit and determination within the Formula E Championship. So a perfume, right? Of course. We've turned a building into a helmet, and race wear into kimonos for Nissan - a perfume seemed like the obvious next step.”

Interspersed with action shots of the cars and the team and high-end shots of the perfume, the spoof ad has a whisper voice saying non-sequitur phrases such as “a car faster than the wind” and “a journey in the blink of an eye” mashed together with wistful music and all the arty tropes of classic perfume ads - and the science and tires of Formula E. There is even a race driver in full helmet putting his finger over his lips - ssssshhhhhh.

Nissan made its all-electric racing debut in Season 5 (2018/19) of the FIA Formula E Championship, becoming the first and only Japanese team to enter the grid.

Here's the "making of" bonus film.

Nissan is a world-leading expert in the design and manufacturing of exciting all-electric vehicles. The ambition is to achieve carbon neutrality across its operations and the life cycle of its products by 2050, and Nissan intends to electrify all its new vehicles by the early 2030s in key markets.


Campaign name: Smell My Dust
Agency: Dark Horses
Senior Account Manager: Jake Mancer
Creative Director: Paco Lopez
Creative Director: Adam Burns
Senior Strategist: Simon Hanley
Dark Horses Producer: Clara Gienger
Production Company: Concept 80

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