Auto Air Fresheners: a case study in car smells


Picture this, you just got out of work and your running late for a date that happens to be in an hour. So you hop into your car and travel to pick up your company when all of sudden the inside of your car starts smelling as if the garbage man dropped of Wednesday’s trash. What do you do? There is just no possible way you can go clean out your car and get it all new and shiny before you go out! What is the solution? Auto Air Fresheners. This month I will be writing a four-part series on how Auto Air Fresheners are just what you need to have a successful car wash and a happy customer.

coffee aromaFor this first part of the series, I will break Auto Air Fresheners down to the science of smell. As we all know, our sense of smell is very important, especially when we link that smell to a memory. According to, the sense of smell is closely linked with memory, probably more so than any of our other senses. The smell of coffee could be the memory of you being in the fourth grade and you had that one teacher who always drank Columbian roast in the morning. Or the smell of Orchids could be the memory of your friend’s wedding day and how their mother-in-law almost ruined the bride’s white gown with red wine. This can happen spontaneously with the smell acting as a trigger in recalling a long forgotten experience. As well as memories, smell also alarms emotions as well.

Smells of different fragrances activate our feelings of desire, power, vitality and relaxation. So whether it is the Axe for men spray you put on before a long work day or that Black Ice Little Tree Air Freshener you hang in your car, the smell will make those around you more at ease or possibly even on edge. says it is likely that much of our emotional response to smell is governed by an association, something which is borne out by the fact that different people can have completely different perceptions of the same smell. Objects that smell good make you feel good. Nine guys out of ten said they felt more self-assured and “cooler” when they knew their car smelled good as well as three out of five girls said they would approach guys more when wearing perfume; smelling good exerts confidence and a bolder demeanor.

Researches from define Aromachology as the “psychology of scent.” They say it focuses on the effects of certain herbal essential oils on humans, which include relaxation, olfactory sensorsimprovement of work and behavior, stimulation of memory, and the reduction of stress. Scents like peppermint, lemon, and lily of the valley are known for their mentally stimulating properties. For example, truck drivers can use these smells to keep them alert on a drive across the nation or college students or people who work late hours can enhance their work performance just by lighting a scented candle. Vanilla is a popular relaxant and stress reducer as well as lavender which lets you escape from the hectic workday environment that you are in fives day a week.

So this Olfactory function may be able to think of smells that evoke particular memories or feelings. Smell is our psychological make-up that allows us to connect with the world around us. If we were to lose this very important sense, then our whole being could be thrown off completely. With all this being said, now we can really dive into the more important reasons why Auto Air Fresheners are more important than they appear! Until next time.


By Chelsea Dimmig

Kleen-Rite Staff Writer


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