If there’s one thing we all take for granted, it’s the smell of a new car. We may not know what we’ve got ’til it’s gone, but we definitely notice when our motor starts smelling a little funky. Though nothing beats proper cleaning, a good air freshener can make all the difference, and can help to transform a drive from drab to fab. But which should you choose? In this guide, we’re running through our top ten car scents. See which we chose, and let us know if you agree or disagree!
With tree-shaped cardboard adorning the interior mirrors of cars the world over, it’s little wonder to see pine in this list. However, just because it’s universally known doesn’t make it the best car scent. The issue here isn’t the inspiration but the execution, with most pine air fresheners smelling more like a chemical reproduction than the real deal. Nonetheless, we have to bow to its global popularity by including it in our top ten.
9. Black ice
Black ice is one of the most well-known car scents out there—but what exactly is it? After all, ice isn’t exactly known for its enticing aroma. We did some digging, and found that, officially, this is “a mysteriously enticing masculine scent of woods and citrus”. All well and good, but not exactly icy. For its somewhat misleading moniker, this popular fragrance has to settle for our #9 spot.
The aim of an air freshener is, of course, to keep things fresh. With this in mind, you can’t go too far wrong by choosing the fruity scent of watermelon. This is a great option for anyone who wants keep things sweet and summery behind the wheel. As an added bonus, the pattern of a watermelon slice fits perfectly into the ubiquitous tree shape of the most popular air freshener brand.
Sometimes, you want your car scent to be less invigorating and more comforting. If you fall into this boat, then cotton is the perfect choice. This air freshener aims to capture a specific moment: when you’ve just taken freshly-dried linen off the washing line on a summer’s day. We just have one question: how did they manage to recreate it on a bit of cardboard?!
One of the more daring scents on our list, cinnamon air fresheners are amongst the few that transport the driver to a more wintry place. They still manage to evoke heat—but this time, it’s the feeling of being wrapped up beside an open fire, combined with the heady aroma of dark spices. A perfect option for dark, cold days when you can’t wait to get home.
5. Piña colada
It should go without saying that cocktails and driving don’t mix. Fortunately, there’s no alcohol involved here—just a delicious mix of coconut and pineapple. It’s enough to whisk you off to a tropical island… even if you’re actually commuting through Bradford. No wonder it made our list! Just remember: save the actual piña coladas for a day when you’re not the designated driver!
Combining signature fruitiness with a bit more of a zing than some other scents, cherry has established itself as one of the most popular air fresheners on the road. While you can get classic cardboard trees bearing this aroma, the sweetness and tartness of cherries can be better enjoyed with a diffuser containing fragrance oils. The more you know!
‘Vanilla’ may have become a byword for ‘boring’, but there’s a good reason that it’s such an all-pervasive aroma: it smells (and tastes) great! In fact, vanillin, a natural compound found in vanilla pods, is the world’s most popular flavour. There are endless varieties of vanilla-based scents to use in your car, from the classic yellow cardboard trees to fancier diffusers inspired by Yankee Candles. Pick your favourite and enjoy the ride!
2. New car scent
Anyone who’s ever purchased a brand new car will know that it smells incredible… at first. Unfortunately, as time wears on, day-to-day wear and tear will see that fresh aroma replaced by more of a musky odour. Not ideal—but there is a solution! Yep, the ‘new car smell’ air freshener is so popular because it helps motorists to relive that moment when their vehicle arrived straight from the dealership, and it takes a deservedly high ranking in our top ten.
Didn’t expect to see the humble peach making it to the top spot? Well then, my friend, you have been missing out. This air freshener provides your car with a much-needed burst of fruitiness without being overpowering. It’s no wonder that we’re just peachy keen about this one! For an extra pro tip, try and hunt yourself down a bellini air freshener for a bartender-style twist on this fruity favourite.
That completes our rundown of the top ten car scents! Was your favourite on the list, or is there anything we missed? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. We’ll be back with more top tens soon!