What’s that fragrance? It’s eau de MacBook Pro


Forget new car, percolating java or even newborn baby. I realize it now: I love the smell of fresh MacBook in the morning.

“A distinctive scent can be observed when unwrapping a newly purchased Apple product from its packaging,” according to Air Aroma’s blog post. “Apple fans will certainly recognize this smell.”

Although I do distinctly remember the smell of my most recent MacBook’s unwrapping in November, I think I mistook that for excitement and elation -- and the smell of $1,100 leaving my account.


Signature-scent maker Air Aroma concocted a MacBook Pro fragrance at the request of three artists, also known as Greatest Hits, for an installation in Australia. They wanted to enhance the experience of the exhibit with the sense of smell. Their request was for all of the aromatic elements of unwrapping the Apple laptop.

“That was a first,” said Rebecca Ebbecke, chief operating officer of Air Aroma.

The scent incorporates elements of the plastic wrap on the box, the ink on the cardboard, the smell of the plastic inside and the aluminum of the laptop fresh from the factory.

I have to admit, in an effort to try to re-create the experience, I spent much of last evening comparing the bouquet of the gadgets around the house. None was fresh from the box, but I figured they likely retained some of their fragrant qualities. (Oddly, my husband didn’t blink an eye or even ask why I was studiously smelling our computers.)

I smelled a Dell netbook -- a distinct aroma of plastic. And then it was a Compaq laptop -- definitely plastic again. Yes, the MacBook and MacBook Pro smelled different -- they had a delicate nose that was subtly metallic, less pungent.

So how does the concocted scent compare with the actual MacBook? Virtually identical, Ebbecke said. “Our perfumers are very, very good at what they do.”

Indeed, the French scent scientists had better be. The company caters primarily to four- and five-star hotels, religious houses and retail clients. And the requests it gets can range from the subtle to the challenging to the unthinkably bizarre.


If you thought “MacBook Pro unboxed” was an odd request, wait until you hear what they got yesterday: decomposing body.

For the laptop request, the lab was sent a MacBook. But how do you even begin to re-create “decomposing body”? Ebbecke said she hasn’t yet begun to think of that.

The scent of a laptop isn’t commercially available, so you enthusiasts will still have to get your hits of MacBook from Apple stores and the like. But don’t rule out being able to buy a bottle of Apple’s finest fruit.

Ebbecke said that certainly no decision has been made on that. “We would love to talk to Apple.”

Who knows, maybe Apple could promote specific products in its stores by blasting its synthesized scent.

When asked whether other electronics could get their own vanity fragrance line, she said, “We haven’t had those discussions, but it’s certainly worth considering.”


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What’s that fragrance? It’s eau de MacBook Pro