Evidently, transit officials in Berlin are having trouble finding a fragrance that will "cover up" all of the smells one encounters on public transit. Now thankfully when I was in Berlin, the subways weren't terribly bad, but this difficulty does illustrate two basic problems with any public transit system.
First of all, the system belongs to everyone, and hence doesn't belong to anyone. As a result, people do things on the S-Bahn that they'd never do in their own cars--or at least you're sharing accomidations with those who are willing to trash their own cars.
Second, the real way to remove smells from any room is not with fragrances, but rather with adequate ventilation and cleaning--which apparently the S-Bahn isn't getting these days. (when I was there, of course, it wasn't taking on passengers when its route went through East Berlin, which may have something to do with it) The very search for a fragrant solution may indicate that those in charge are having trouble figuring out the real way to control smells.
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