Home » These Are The 15 Most Horrible Car Air Freshener Scents of 2023

These Are The 15 Most Horrible Car Air Freshener Scents of 2023

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One of the biggest benefits of being in the automotive media business is that you’re never left wanting for exciting press releases from a vast panoply of companies and organizations. You’re never out of the loop, any loops! It’s just as dazzling as you can imagine. Today, I got an especially good one, from the Fobreze company, which is not even remotely affiliated with other companies with only a solitary vowel’s difference in name and a near-identical logo. This entirely other company told me about a study they did in their automotive stenchification department. They determined, over the course of an entire year, which car air freshener scents were the least popular. They’ve shared with me the 15 poorest-selling scents, and now, as a public service, I’m going to share them with you. So get ready.

Another organization had a similar list of 2022’s least popular scents, which I covered before, and it’s fascinating to see how tastes change from year-to-year.

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The Frobreze company specializes in liquid-based car scents, the kind that clip onto your air vents, and they have over 27,500 unique scents in their catalog. In fact, the factory that produces them is so large, it currently takes up all of the land area of Rhode Island, which is why Rhode Island was relocated to Colorado, if you were wondering about that.

Their factory is also one of only two Earth-based objects that can be smelled from space, with 100,000-mile gear oil still retaining the number one position, so please be sure to send your tub of gear oil my heartfelt congratulations on that.

Okay, enough prelude – let’s get to the 15 least popular car air freshener scents, starting with number 15 and going up to number one:

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15. Pizza Grease Runoff, 14. Alleyway Loveplay, 13. Electricity

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Food-based scents are generally quite popular, but Pizza Grease Runoff never found the audience that Fobreze’s regular $1 Pizza Slice scent did. Alleyway Loveplay was part of Fobreze’s Romantix Encounterz series, but seems to have failed to capture the sensual imagination of drivers. Electricity just made people sick, generally.

12. Traffic Cone Mating Musk, 11. Veiled Threat, 10. Traumas, Unresolved

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The idea of capturing the musk of a wild traffic cone in mating season seemed like a powerful idea at the time, but the unwanted reactions of other traffic cones in heat required this one to be pulled from the market after only a few months. Both Veiled Threat and Traumas, Unresolved proved too effective, causing most motorists to stop their cars in abject fear or because they were sobbing too hard to drive.

9. Thick Cheeses, 8. Lingering Dread, 7. Baby Urine (like in commercials)

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Cheese-based air freshener scents have always been a hard sell, and the rich, redolent tang of trunk-ripened gouda seems to be no exception. Lingering Dread Seems to simply not be a mood many motorists were seeking, with focus groups stating it was a scent they were generally more than able to generate on their own. Baby Urine (like in commercials) was based on the blue fluid used to fill diapers, but too many customers found they confused it with the blue fluids used to simulate menstrual fluid in tampon commercials.

6. Determined Oscelot, 5. Ignorance Bliss, 4. 2015 Toyota Camry

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Determined Oscelot was pulled for two reasons: first, a typo in the name, and second, it was potent enough that it scared the crap out of people’s dogs, who would refuse to get in the car. Ignorance Bliss was determined to be too condescending. The 2015 Toyota Camry scent , which was praised for its ability to make any car smell just like a 2015 Toyota Camry, was a technical triumph but possibly a solution looking for a problem. It’s still available to military clients, who often saturate the inside of tanks with the smell to help keep crews relaxed.

3. Forgotten Butter, 2. William H. Macy, 1. Raw Ambergris

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The top three are an interesting batch. Forgotten Butter’s subtle yet unsettling smell tended to cause drivers peculiar amounts of anxiety, mostly due to the chemicals used to convey the “forgotten” part, which tended to affect memory centers of the brain in negative ways. Noted actor William H. Macy’s signature scent was generally found to be too potent and rich for most drivers, and in an added twist, Macy himself was discovered to be buying massive quantities of the air freshener in order to give the illusion of better sales, but he was caught, and is currently being charged under California State Air Freshener Abuse Law.

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Raw Ambergris would likely have been a fantastic seller, were it not for the “smell” that made people “vomit.”

Fascinating stuff! I’m told if you can find any of these on eBay, they’re worth quite a bit, especially the Bill Macy ones!

 

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MikeInTheWoods
MikeInTheWoods
10 months ago

Forgotten butter is apparently useful for bicycles if you are homeless. I was a bike mechanic working at the local bike co-op. A homeless man took butter packets (the little foil ones) and covered all of his drivetrain with forgotten butter. Mind you he covered EVERYTHING, and then it collected dirt, bugs and odors most unpleasant. Fun times wrenching at the shop.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
10 months ago

Just too fuckin funny this time Torch…My late Dad was into “cheese” air fresheners, but was too cheap to buy anything. His favorite was called “pull my finger.”
Can’t put a price on those childhood memories. But my therapist can…

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
10 months ago

Jason Torchinsky is a treasure.

Opa Carriker
Opa Carriker
10 months ago

I hereby propose “Shit Sandwich”, redolent with moldy Jewish rye bread, week old mayonaise out of an open jar, and of course the key ingredient, excrement. This is of course open to anything and everything you’ve ever experienced in your life! Oh wait, can’t forget the limp wilted onion slices, smelling slightly of amonia.

Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
10 months ago

HAHAH just now realizing the brand is Fobreze.

Sean Hannay
Sean Hannay
10 months ago

Seriously guys, how do you ever expect to turn a profit if you don’t make these things a slide show?

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
10 months ago

I really need “Old Crayons” to make up for ripping the interior out of the 944. Every old German car of that era smells like crayons, and I don’t know why.

Goof
Goof
10 months ago
Reply to  Stef Schrader

This is the result of the adhesives of the era that bond the interior panels together. That’s the smell they have as they continue to break down.

Myk El
Myk El
10 months ago

Isn’t “lingering dread* the default smell of any German luxury car after it’s out of warranty?

Millermatic
Millermatic
10 months ago

“Fox Urine Dumped In Highschool Air Intake As A Prank.”

Popular in Alabama in the late 80’s.

Last edited 10 months ago by Millermatic
Rollin Hand
Rollin Hand
10 months ago

I suggest “Summer Minivan Motion Sickness” as a possible “flavour”. Or “Hospital Hallway Biohazard.”

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