BMW Ambient Air Fragrance settings in iDrive

BMW Ambient Air: Best Scents, How to Install It, and More!

Ever notice how a simple scent can change your entire mood?

That’s what BMW wants to bring into your driving experience with the Ambient Air feature.

In this guide, we’ll tell you how it works, which BMW models have it, how to replace your cartridges, and more!

What is BMW Ambient Air?

BMW Ambient Air is a system on some BMW models that releases high-quality fragrances to scent the car’s interior.

The system comes with the BMW Ambient Air Package (code 4NM) and is a $350 option. In some models, it’s also included as part of the ‘Premium Package.’

BMW Ambient Air Package (4NM) price

The BMW Ambient Air fragrance cartridges are discreetly placed inside the glove compartment.

BMW understands that our noses can get used to scents if they’re constant.

So, instead of a continuous fragrance stream, the system releases the scent at intervals. This ensures that every time you catch a scent, it’s as delightful as the first.

Plus, with two fragrance cartridges in your vehicle, you can switch between scents anytime!

BMW Ambient Air Blue Suite No. 1

Now, here’s the cherry on top!

The BMW Ambient Air Package includes an ionizer, a device that purifies your car’s air.

It removes tiny suspended particles, significantly enhancing the air quality inside.

And guess what? Even if you don’t use the Ambient Air fragrance function, the ionizer will keep working.

How long does BMW Ambient Air last?

BMW’s Ambient Air system sounds pretty fantastic.

But here’s the question that’s probably on your mind: “How long does the scent last?”

BMW Ambient Air lasts between one and six months, depending on your driving frequency and intensity settings:

  • Intensity settings: The Ambient Air system lets you adjust the intensity of the fragrance. You can choose from three levels:
    • 1 (mild): Intensity level 1 offers a gentle aroma, ensuring your car smells fresh but not overpowering. In this setting, a cartridge can last you anywhere from four to six months with daily use.
    • 2 (average): Intensity level 2 is the perfect balance for when you want something noticeable but not too intense. Depending on your daily driving routine, it should last for about three to four months.
    • 3 (strong): Intensity level 3 releases the most pronounced fragrance into your car. However, since it releases more fragrance, it will last around one to two months with daily use.
BMW Ambient Air Fragrance settings - intensity level

Tip: Ambient Air is an amazing feature if you carry your dogs in your BMW.

Overview of BMW Ambient Air scents

Here is an overview of all the available BMW Ambient Air scents and how they smell:

  • Authentic Suite No. 1: A blend of warm woods, amber, coffee, and a stylish touch of leather.
  • Authentic Suite No. 2: A rich mix of spices and wood, sweetened with sugar cane and candied fruits.
  • Blue Suite No. 1: A refreshing dive into cool waters, embodying fresh and aquatic notes.
  • Blue Suite No. 2: A splash of sea, complemented by the twist of mandarin and grapefruit peel.
  • Golden Suite No. 1: A mix of patchouli, violets, and the sweetness of vanilla.
  • Golden Suite No. 2: Warm cedar wood and cardamom notes, kissed by a hint of honey, reminiscent of a desert horizon at dusk.
  • Green Suite No. 1: The fresh essence of a dew-covered green meadow, led by hyacinth and cardamom.
  • Green Suite No. 2: A rejuvenating walk through a cool forest featuring moss, mint, and a grounding woody note.

Tip for the fragrance enthusiasts: If you enjoy a more prominent scent, you might want to go for the ‘No. 2’ versions. Their boxes are labeled ‘Rich’, which indicates a stronger fragrance composition!

Which BMW models have Ambient Air?

So, you’re intrigued by BMW’s Ambient Air and probably wonder, “Does my BMW model come with this system?” or “Which BMW should I consider if I want this feature?”

Let’s break it down for you!

Here is a list of BMW models that are available with Ambient Air:

  • BMW 5 Series G30/G31 (2017 to 2024)
  • BMW 6 Series G32 (2017 to 2023)
  • BMW 7 Series G11/G70 (2015 to 2024)
  • BMW X3 G01/G45 (2017 to 2024)
  • BMW X5 G05 (2019 to 2024)
  • BMW X7 G07 (2019 to 2024)

Tip: Not sure which BMW model you have? Follow our guide here to find out!

BMW Ambient Air settings

If you have a BMW with the Ambient Air system, you’re likely eager to learn how to make the most of this feature.

Here are its settings explained!

How do you select a fragrance?

Follow these steps to switch between BMW Ambient Air fragrances:

  1. Tap on the “Car” button on your iDrive infotainment screen.
  2. Navigate to “Settings”.
  3. Select the “Climate control” option.
  4. Click on “Fragrance.”
  5. You’ll see a list of available fragrances. Simply choose your preferred scent, and you’re set!
BMW Ambient Air selecting a fragrance - Golden Suite No. 2

How do you switch BMW Ambient Air on/off or adjust the intensity?

Here is how you can switch BMW Ambient Air on/off or adjust the intensity:

  1. Tap on the “Car” button on your iDrive infotainment screen.
  2. Navigate to “Settings”.
  3. Select the “Climate control” option.
  4. Click on “Fragrance.”
  5. Tap on “Level.”
  6. Choose between the available intensity settings. Remember, 1 is mild, and 3 is the strongest.

How do you check the actual filling level?

Here is how you can check how much fragrance is left in your BMW Ambient Air cartridge:

  1. Tap on the “Car” button on your iDrive infotainment screen.
  2. Navigate to “Settings”.
  3. Select the “Climate control” option.
  4. Click on “Fragrance.”
  5. You will see an image of the fragrance, which indicates its filling level. If you see a black bottle, your cartridge is empty.
How to check the filling level of BMW Ambient Air cartridge

How do you install or replace a BMW Ambient Air cartridge?

To keep that awesome smell in your BMW, you might have to occasionally replace the Ambient Air cartridges.

Here’s a step-by-step replacement guide:

  • Step 1: Access the fragrance cartridge holder by opening the front passenger glove compartment.
  • Step 2: Press on the bottom of the cartridge holder to remove it.
  • Step 3: Remove the old fragrance cartridges from the holder.
  • Step 4: Remove the black cover of the new fragrance cartridge.
  • Step 5: Insert the removed cover on the rear of the fragrance cartridge.
  • Step 6: Before re-installing the cartridge, make sure that its chip faces away from the cartridge holder.
  • Step 7: Insert the fragrance cartridge into the holder until you feel a slight snap or click.
  • Step 8: Push the cartridge holder back up until it clicks.
  • Step 9: Close the glove compartment.

Or, if you like to watch a video instead, here you go:


If you already have a BMW and haven’t yet played around with these fragrances, maybe it’s time for some fun experimentation!

Let us know if this guide has helped you in the comments below, and safe travels!

Reader’s tip: 12 Best BMW Accessories Of 2024 (Must-Have Products!)

Other BMW features

Interested in learning more about other BMW features? If so, take a look at these articles:

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