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Why Do New Canadian Cars Smell Like Maple Syrup?

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Maple Syrup Grades

Maple Syrup Grades
Photo: Dvortygir

When we were planning our big move to Canada, we sent a few editors on expeditions to find us some good cars to drive in Nova Scotia. One thing that we all noticed was that all of the cars they sat in were perfumed with the sweet smell of maple syrup. But why?

What we Americans refer to as “new car smell” is actually a noxious mix of fumes from fresh car upholstery, plastic, new glue, and other materials that hold a car together. It might not be the best smell in the world, but it’s instantly recognizable. To solve the mystery of the sweet rides, we headed to a local car dealership in Nova Scotia.

After the staff inquired as to our well-being (and that of our families), they spilled the secrets. Canadian cars all smell like maple syrup because Canada smells like maple syrup. Supposedly you usually don’t notice because your nose gets used to it once you clear the border, but the high concentration of maple inside of a car makes the scent hard to avoid.

Whether this story is true or not, it made us fall in love with Canada just a bit more. We don’t know what America smells like, but it’s certainly not sweet maple goodness.


If you haven’t figured it out yet, this post is part of The News Wheel’s April Fools’ Day series about our “move” to Canada. We apologize to any Canadians who take offense. Americans can learn to take a joke.