In times past, car fragrances, then better known as ‘air fresheners’, were largely functional.
They were mostly designed to mask aromas like cigarette smoke and created with basic elements that smelled either floral and fruity or fresh, like a fake-smelling ‘sea breeze’. What’s more, there were generally made with carboard soaked in oil that would be overpowering at first but quickly fade.
Thankfully, perfumers have cottoned on to the fact that we love our spaces to smell chic and scent science has also come on in leaps and bounds, meaning more stylish, high-end options for products other than eau de parfum.
In the last year or so brands have certainly embraced this prospect with new car fragrance diffuser options that are mostly designed to clip over your car’s air vents. The scent then gets distributed throughout the vehicle when you turn your air conditioning or venting on.
The new arrivals are an easy way to embrace scent if you don’t like to wear it personally, or you just like them to help mask the smell of the kids’ soccer kit, or your partner’s gym bag.
Glasshouse arguably boasts the most aesthetically-pleasing and well-considered design for its car diffuser. The sleek polished finish comes in white or black and looks at home on a modern car dashboard. It can also easily be adjusted to control the intensity of scent. The scent cartridges are refillable so you are only paying for the small discs that slot in after you’ve bought the initial diffuser. If you like a sweet scent you absolutely can’t go past one of Glasshouse’s most popular scents, A Tahaa Affair, with vanilla and caramel notes, but there are a variety available from white florals to camellia, lotus and cherry blossoms.
New Zealand brand Nevé brings an entirely new design to the table with its just-released car diffuser made of a modern and minimalistic matte black aluminum tube. Each holds one refillable fragrance stick scented with fragrance oils. Designed to subtly scent the car rather than ‘knock your socks off’ each time you get in, this is a great choice for those that commonly find similar products headache-inducing. We love that there’s a range of options – Whiskey + Wood Smoke is a less traditional but rich and masculine choice – but the likes of French Pear + Brown Sugar, Kowhai Blossom + Lime mean there’s sure to be an option for everyone.
Old-school Gatsby glam in design, this option from the famous French fragrance house also holds a cartridge that is interchangeable so you can swap between scents when they run out. Fans of iconic fragrances like the brand’s popular Baies (floral and fruity berries) and Figuier (subtle fig) can extend their love to their vehicles. In our experience they have great lasting power too, through they should, for the elevated price.
A slightly more affordable option, Ecoya’s design is probably the most unobtrusive of the lot. The small black clip-on also contains re-fillable fragrance discs that come in a range of scents like Coconut & Elderflower and French Pear. What we like about Ecoya is that they are the only option that regularly releases seasonal limited edition scents so you can match the vibe to the weather around you.
Another fragrance favourite, if you already have Jo Malone London colognes on your dresser and candles in your home, you will likely love the Jo Malone hits – think Lime Basil & Mandarin or Peony & Blush Suede – that are also available in car diffuser form. Another refillable option, the diffuser device comes without a scent, so you’ll have to remember to add the fragrance refill if you’re buying online.
Image (top): Glasshouse Fragrances