You may be forgiven for thinking that April Fools’ Day has arrived two month’s early with the news that Prague’s public transport system is set to become scented.

Later this month, Prague Transport Company will be pumping perfume through a fleet of its buses in a trial that aims to rid public transport of some of the smells more commonly associated with the daily commute.

So can we expect waves of patchouli oil wafting through the carriages and a trippy decor featuring giant daisies à la the Summer of Love? Not exactly. The buses – which will initially be tested on the 125 line – have been designed to evoke a festive atmosphere with scents of cinnamon and lemon. Less Magical Mystery Tour and more out of season mulled wine, then.

“We will start testing air-fresheners first and wait for passengers’ response. Then we will decide whether we will install them in other buses as well,” Prague Transport Company director Petr Blazek told Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD), adding that the decision to roll out the scheme on more routes would also depend on the price, which is expected to be around 25,000 crowns per year for each vehicle.

According to MfD the idea of scenting public transport originated in Lisbon. But while the Czech Republic can undoubtedly get hot in the summer, surely it doesn’t face the same searing heat (and associated sweaty armpits) as Portugal?

Indeed, we can only hope that these measures aren’t a gentle dig at the great unwashed…

Andrew Fenwick

Andrew Fenwick is multimedia editor at Transitions Online. Email: andrew.fenwick@tol.org

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