It's not uncommon for celebrities to market branded scents, but what about a car company? Lincoln is debuting its own scent and, no, the Ford Motor Company [NYSE:F] luxury brand hasn't just decided to bottle the cocktail of fumes that make up new-car smell. Called Essence of Lincoln, the scent will be used in showrooms to provide an upscale atmosphere.

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The scent was created by master perfumer Rene Morgenthaler, who's also done work for Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein. It includes green tea to encourage a sense of "upscale well being," according to Lincoln, and jasmine and tonka to help create a "relaxing atmosphere."

Customers will get to try out Essence of Lincoln on scent cards in Lincoln showrooms, although some will also waft it through their ventilation systems. One dealer--Pompano Lincoln in Pompano Beach, Florida--has been doing that for almost a year, according to the company.

Because of the connection between scent and memory, Lincoln says its new perfume will reinforce brand identity when customers encounter it again. It's either a very clever marketing trick, or an attempt at Huxleyan thought control.

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Lincoln needs a bit of both right now, as it works to re-establish its identity. Like Cadillac a decade ago, it's on a quest to reassert itself as a relevant luxury brand after years of selling primarily to fleets and retirees. The fact that all Lincoln models are essentially upgraded Fords isn't helping matters.

With all of its current models based on Ford products, Lincoln is emphasizing a more upscale buying and ownership experience, and launching a Black Label personalization service to draw customers into its showrooms. Executives are likely hoping they will follow their noses as well.


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