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The BBC's transport reporter Tom Symonds
"Pumping selective fragrances into public places is big business"
 real 56k

Thursday, 19 April, 2001, 11:25 GMT 12:25 UK
Underground coming up roses
Passengers on the London Underground
Underground perfumes have been tried in Paris
Sweaty armpits and the remains of last night's curry are familiar smells to regular Tube commuters - but hopefully not for much longer.

London Underground intends to drive out offensive odours by introducing the scents of rose, jasmine and fruit.

The fragrance, known as Madeleine, will be introduced at St James's Park, Euston and Piccadilly from Monday.

If the one-month trial proves a success the scent will be soon be wafting across stations throughout the capital.


The atmosphere down in our stations can become an interesting collection of odours reflecting all aspects of London life

Mike Brown
London Underground
It is applied to floors in ticket areas and on platforms in such a way that the aroma is gradually released as people walk across it.

Mike Brown, LU's stations' customer services director, said: "We carry more than three million passengers a day and the atmosphere down in our stations can become an interesting collection of odours reflecting all aspects of London life - some nice, some not so nice."

"That's why we are testing Madeleine to see if a refresher will make a positive difference.

"We'll see what our customers say. And if it's a hit, it could become a permanent item."

The scent, from Quest International, a Kent subsidiary of ICI, is based on a perfume used in the Paris Metro in 1998.

The Hong Kong underground system also sweetens the air of its stations.

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07 Apr 01 | UK
Marriage goes down the Tube
17 Apr 00 | Asia-Pacific
Japanese men smelling of roses
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