The best car air fresheners: common favourites put to the test

If your car interior could do with some fragrance then you’ve come to the right place. I wanted to find out which is the best car air freshener of 2018, so I went about doing what no right-minded person would and bought an entire basket full of scented solutions from my local Halfords.

Ford has a car collection of its own and it’s unbelievable 

I’ve made sure to include many of the market favourites but this test is an ongoing one so expect further smellies to be added. Can’t see the one you want to buy? Let me know about it and I’ll be sure to get it tested.

The best car air fresheners of 2018

Jelly Belly Gel Can car air freshener

Jelly Belly Gel Can Air freshener blueberry
Scent tested: blueberry

Sized and shaped perfectly to fit into most cup holders is this little blue smelly from Jelly Belly.

Remove the seal and you’ll find the top of the plastic container can be adjusted in tiny increments, subjecting to you to more or less of its scent.

I found its blueberry fragrance to be quite pleasant, but be warned, this is one powerful little unit. With the vents fully open I could still smell blueberries outside of the car!

Longevity is very good, with well over a month of noticeable odour.

The one problem with it being cup holder sized is that —depending on the depth of your cup holders — it can be a right pain to remove.

Little Trees car air freshener

Little Trees cotton candy air freshener
Scent Tested: Cotton Candy

Formerly known as the Magic Tree in the UK, Little Trees are an absolute design classic. Their little elasticated string is designed to secure the tree to your rear view mirror where it can then swing away freely.

They’re sold either individually or in packs of three and come in a whole range of flavours that can easily be distinguished by their colour.

Little Trees’ packaging is designed to release the fragrance slowly. The idea being that you’re supposed to keep the bag in place, moving it by 1cm per week as time goes by.

I’m pretty sure this is something that not many people do, because having a little tree dangling from your rear view mirror can be distracting enough, let alone with several centimetres of crinkling plastic around it.

Still, the Little Tree is a solid performer with a powerful scent, but without playing silly games with its bag it never really lasts for long.

California Scents Xtreme car air freshener

California Scents Xtreme, Volcanic Cherry,
Scent tested: volcanic cherry

California Scents produce a wide range of these circular air fresheners.

Remove the seal beneath the plastic grille and you’ll expose yourself to 27 grams of pure fragrance oil. The grille itself can be adjusted so you can alter the power of the pong.

These smell a little on the sickly side for some but personally I’m a fan. California Scents claims up to 60 days of fragrance and having bought these for many years now I can confirm that this is not a lie.


Other air fresheners on test (awaiting results)

Scents Little Joe

Scents Little Joe
scent tested: vanilla

Little Joe is designed specifically to latch onto your car’s air vents. As far as passengers go, he doesn’t take up much room and he’s always got a big smile on his face, but the best bit about riding with Joe is he smells bloody excellent.

Little Joe claims up to 45 days of fragrance. He’s available in a whole host of funky fragrances and the packaging includes a useful scratch and sniff section so you can accurately preview the scent before you buy it.

Meguiar’s Heart Air Freshener

Another shaped design that hangs from the rear view mirror is the heart air freshener from cleaning experts Meguiar’s.

It’s distinctive and despite being heart-shaped it’s unlikely to upset the more masculine folk out there.

Scent tested: Raspberry

Yankee Candle Car Jar

Its candle range may be something of a living room classic but can Yankee Candle deliver when it comes to your car interior?

Give me a few more weeks and I’ll soon let you know!

Scent tested: new car scent







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