My two cents’ worth on car scents
By David Menzies for MSN Autos
Let it be said that the very best car smell is new car smell – that uniquely alien scent of freshly-minted vinyl and plastic and polymers and many other synthetics. You’d think the end result of all these chemicals would be a scent that is equal parts sterile and artificial (and to a certain degree, new car smell is that.) Even so, that aroma of manmade newness represents the sweet smell of success; nothing smells like newness other than something that is indeed brand new.
Just one catch regarding such a vehicular scent: it dissipates and eventually disappears altogether. In a matter of months, that new car smell is gone because that car is no longer new. Thus, to mask the scent of oldness, we go about injecting other scents into the interior – from blasts of Fabreze to pine-scented slabs of cardboard swaying from the rear-view mirror.
I was thinking of car air fresheners the other day when I happened upon a Little Tree product brandishing a psychedelic colour scheme. “Cotton Candy” read the descriptor.
Really? Cotton Candy? Who wants their car’s interior to smell like a scent lifted from the summer fair? (What next? Eau du Carny? Shudder.)
First things first: I whipped off the wrapper, took a whiff, and with all due respect to the talented chemists at Car-Freshener Corp. in Watertown, N.Y. (the makers of Little Trees), that Cotton Candy air freshener does not smell like cotton candy. It does, however, embrace the tell-tale scent of Double-Bubble. Big time.
The point is, even if the scent of cotton candy could be replicated, the question arises: why would anyone do so? And without getting into the nitty-gritty, is it just me who finds it somewhat disturbing that an adult motorist would want his cabin to smell like a heaping helping of cotton candy in the first place?
Of note, Car-Freshener Corp. now makes 69 different Little Trees scents. Some don’t even have names (I suspect those must’ve been created via lab accidents and the marketing folk at Little Trees decided that although the scents are quite divine, they don’t smell like anything in the known universe.)
Other scents embody abstract names such as Black Ice. That’s a doozy. What is the smell of Black Ice? Brake dust and death?
To go full circle, there’s even a New Car Scent air freshener. Let me tell you, I had high hopes for this one. But it breaks my heart to report that New Car Scent smells more like a box of Tide, which isn’t necessarily a bad scent, but isn’t quite the scent of a brand-new Camaro hot off the Oshawa assembly line.
Bottom line: play it safe and stick with the venerable Royal Pine. It’s tried and true and does indeed smell like pine. Either that or stuff a discarded Christmas tree in your car’s backseat post-December 25th and enjoy the scent of evergreen for months to come...