Best Car Air Freshener – Top 11 Picks From Users

If you have a car, you’ve probably been buying air fresheners for a good while. Air fresheners in cars are a common thing. But are you satisfied with yours? Buying a car scent might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s actually trickier than it sounds.

What scent do you want? How strong? Do you, or anyone else that might be in your car, suffer from allergies? All of these things play a part in the air freshener you end up buying. Another factor is the budget. You might be overpaying for your current car air freshener without even knowing.

While buying a new air freshener isn’t actually the easiest thing in the world, we’d imagine you don’t want to spend too long researching the matter. No worries — we’ve got you covered. Read on below for our complete guide to buying the best car air freshener in 2020.

11 Best Car Air Fresheners

We’ve reviewed countless options and shortlisted x for your consideration. Check them out to find the best air freshener for cars!

LITTLE TREES Car Air Freshener

You’ve certainly seen or even owned a LITTLE TREES car air freshener before. Shaped like a tree, this is one of the most popular options in the world.

It comes in a wide range of fragrances. The one we’re reviewing here, Black Ice, is a rather strong scent that will cover up all odors and keep your car nice and fresh. The fragrance is a mix of bergamot, sandalwood, and lemon. If that’s not your jam, you can choose from a variety of scents (almost 40!) all at the same price. Some of the examples include Sunset Beach (neroli, musk, white florals), Rainshine (florals and earthy greens), Fresh Shave (shaving cream, leather, talcum powder, and musk), and more.

Every pack contains 6 car air fresheners, and you get 4 packs at once. Considering the affordable price, that makes this product a very high value for the money spent. These have moderate longevity, but when you get so many all at once, it’s not an issue to replace one when the time comes. As far as air fresheners for the car go, this is one of the best.

Happy Wax Cub Car Air Freshener

If you’d like to have a car air freshener that has a more unique, pleasant look, this one is the right one for you. It’s especially great if you have kids — the happy bear is sure to bring a smile upon their faces!

It’s also a good alternative if you prefer to avoid synthetic smells. This car air freshener is infused with a natural essential oil. It comes in a variety of beautiful fragrances. Each pack contains four options: Coastal Tide, Jasmine Honeysuckle, Grapefruit Mangosteen, and Citron Mandarin. These scents are strong, but not overpowering. Your car will have a wonderful smell, but it won’t make you cough from the strength of the scent.

In car air fresheners, it’s important to find one that is long-lasting. Happy Wax keeps your car smelling fresh for up to two weeks, so buying just one pack equals two months of freshness at a really low price.

PURGGO Car Air Freshener

100% natural, chemical-free, and capable of lasting the whole year? Yes, it is possible to have all of that within one product. Simply try the best car air freshener out there — PURGGO, a natural air freshener made out of bamboo charcoal.

The purpose of this car air freshener is to eliminate the odors instead of just masking them. You know how you can always sense the hint of bad smell, even if it’s covered by perfume? That is not going to be an issue here, as the porous bamboo charcoal surface absorbs the odors in your car.

This is a fantastic choice for people with asthma or allergies, as it’s a completely natural air freshener and thus, it is healthy. It won’t harm your kids, your pets, or yourself in any way.

As opposed to hanging this on the rearview mirror, you can hang it on the seat. It will keep your car smelling fresh for an impressive amount of time — up to a whole year! This makes Purggo the best car air freshener if you want something long-lasting.

There’s one more unexpected bonus to this particular car scent — it’s recyclable. At the end of its lifecycle, you can repurpose the bamboo charcoal to serve as a natural fertilizer for your plants. You reduce your environmental footprint if you choose Purggo’s natural air freshener.

Febreze Car Air Freshener

This is another option if you’re seeking something that will last longer. It’s a set of 5 clips that will, in total, keep all odors at bay for up to 150 days. For a budget product, that is an incredible number of days of freshness that are ahead of you. It’s rare to find car air fresheners with this type of longevity.

You can clip these onto your car vent. Make sure that you push it firmly in until you hear a click, otherwise it won’t be securely attached. Each clip has a dial that lets you control the strength of the scent, so you can adapt it to what suits you best.

They have a fresh smell that both absorbs odors and masks them with its clean fragrance. You don’t have to feel limited in how you use these car air fresheners either. You can use them at home or at work — they will clip nicely onto any vent, so they’re versatile. This is an odor eliminator that will keep every space filled with a pleasant scent.

Chemical Guys Premium Air Freshener

For the strongest odors, we recommend this odor eliminator & air freshener combo. If you’ve not been using any scents in your car, this might be the best car air freshener for you, simply due to the sheer power of it.

We all like the smell of a new car and this is what this product delivers. It’s formulated with fragrances that resemble that new car scent. Even if your car has its best days behind, this air freshener will perk it right up.

It’s an enzymatic spray. This means that it eliminates odors and reduces the creation of new ones. Enzymes also contribute to destroying the source of the bad smell completely. One good use is if your new puppy has an accident in the car. An enzymic air freshener will remove the smell and your dog won’t sense it at all.

Just one spray will suffice for your whole vehicle, be it a car or even a moderately-sized truck. The perfume used in this is really strong, but it has a wonderful scent. As far as car air fresheners go, this is a very solid option.

LITTLE TREES Fiber Can Air Freshener

LITTLE TREES is a leader on the market of the best car air fresheners. Aside from their iconic tree-shaped scents, they also offer products such as this fiber can. Carrying the deliciously crisp and strong fragrance of a green apple, this air freshener will keep your car delightful for up to 60 days.

The fiber used in the making of this air freshener is the exact same as the one used in the hanging trees that we all know and love. However, due to the specialized technology used by LITTLE TREES in the making of this product, the lifespan of it is much longer. It’s the best bang for your buck that you can get.

You can slide the lever on the can to adjust the strength of the scent. Whether you want just a little whiff of green apple or a full-on, strong smell, you can achieve either with this car air freshener.

Tatuo Car Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser

Essential oils are loved far and wide for many reasons. They’re also often used in car air fresheners. If you choose Tatuo over the other options, you will be able to enjoy a natural fragrance and a stress reliever all at once.

All you need is a drop of essential oils of your choice and you’re good to go. This is an air vent clip that will fit any car and home. The clip itself is made out of super-durable 316L stainless steel which prevents rusting. The felt pad inside is replaceable and highly absorbent. You can infuse it with your favorite oils and enjoy the scent.

Each package contains two vent clip lockets and a whopping 48 replacement felt pads. There’s also a soft velvet bag that you can use for storing your extra accessories.

As this is a very customizable set, you can choose from a variety of scents in these air fresheners. Pick what you love and enjoy your ride.

Vyaime USB Essential Oil Diffuser & Car Humidifier

Dry air can be one of the worst things for your respiratory system. If you have allergies, suffer from asthma, or simply do not handle A/C well, you probably cough more than you should. This is why it’s good to use a humidifier in air-conditioned spaces, and as you know, your car is one of them.

This Vyaime product is more than just the best car air freshener out there. It’s also an essential oil diffuser that doubles as a car humidifier. You can use it with essential oils of your choice to customize your ride. Other than choosing your favorite fragrance, you can pick oils with extra qualities, such as a relaxing effect. It makes for a good way to wind down after work.

It’s very portable and fits in a car cup holder. Powered by USB, it can be plugged into most devices to provide a wonderful scent in your car. You can also put it on a desk, shelf, or anywhere else!

It has a sleek design and a LED light that you can control along with its three different work modes. It costs a bit more than most air fresheners, but it does provide great value for the money.

LITTLE TREES Masculine Car Air Freshener

For that special man in your life or even for yourself, LITTLE TREES prepared a selection of hanging tree car air fresheners with masculine smells. If flowery fragrances are not your thing and you don’t much care for cotton candy, you’re sure to like these alternatives.

These 12 air fresheners are all fresh and clean, with no lingering hints of sweetness. They make breathing easy and enjoyable. They’re all outdoor-themed and have strong, somewhat musky undertones. You can hang one of these on your rearview mirror.

The headliner here is, of course, Black Ice, which is the brand’s most popular scent. The other fragrances are all popular LITTLE TREES options such as:

  • Green Apple
  • Leather
  • No Smoking
  • Pure Steel
  • Vanilla Pride
  • Eucalyptus
  • Several more

As these are original LITTLE TREES products, they have a relatively long lifespan for a hanging air freshener. You can also find your favorite fragrances later once you try them out, as they all continue being produced.

Yankee Candle Car Jar

You’ve certainly heard of Yankee Candle — they make some of the most popular candles on the market. Did you know that they also produce some of the best car air fresheners? These pretty Yankee Candle products have the essence of the smells you already know and love.

You can hang these up on your rearview mirror, but also in other spaces to enjoy the elegant and beautiful smells. This is a 3-pack, so for a low price, you get the following scents: Vanilla Cupcake, Black Cherry, and Home Sweet Home. There are also other sets of three for you to choose from, each equipped with the most popular Yankee Candle scents.

Each jar of air fresheners has a surprisingly long lifespan and will refresh your car for up to 4 weeks. They also have odor-neutralizing properties, so instead of simply masking the smell, they remove it. They then replace it with a beautiful aroma that fills your entire car without being overpowering.

Meguiar’s Whole Car Air Refresher

If you want to get rid of all odors permanently as opposed to simply covering them up with a nice scent, you need an odor eliminator. You’re in luck — Meguiar’s offers a very solid contender that solves the problem instead of masking it. This is a permanent solution that an air freshener may not provide.

This is a permanent solution that gets rid of bad smells and fills your vehicle with that elusive “new car” scent that you’re missing. It’s suited for cars, trucks, SUVs, and other vehicles. It only needs to be used just once, even if your car is in pretty bad shape. This is done through the process of chemical bonding which takes place on a molecular level.

Other than eliminating all bad smells, just one spray-down suffices to keep your car refreshed for weeks. Treat this as a solution in case of real car-scent emergencies. Not everyone will need something so strong, but if you do, there’s probably no better way to go than to buy one of these air fresheners.

Frequently Asked Questions

In our guide, we want to cover more than to simply review the best car air freshener. We want to make sure you’ve got the full scope of knowledge to get you the kind of product you want. To help you out, we’ve compiled this FAQ to answer all your doubts as you look for a new air freshener.

What is The Best And Longest Lasting Car Air Freshener?

The term “best car air freshener” is not something we give away easily. To earn that coveted #1 spot, a car air freshener has to be very effective, have a long lifespan, and a beautiful scent.

If you asked us to pick the best car air freshener, we’d recommend the LITTLE TREES Car Air Freshener. LITTLE TREES is a brand that has years upon years of experience in producing the best car air freshener options on the market.

However, if you want the longest lasting car air freshener, you should look into the PURGGO Car Air Freshener. There’s simply no other car air freshener that can offer you 365+ days of odor absorption. However, this does not mask scents, it removes them — so you might want to add a nice fragrance on top of it, such as the Yankee Candle Car Jar scents.

How Can I Make My Car Smell Good All The Time?

As you may spend many long hours in your car, you should try your best to adapt it to your needs. The smell in your vehicle has a huge impact on your comfort of use. Sometimes, bad odors just creep up on you without you knowing. Most fabrics will absorb odors, and at some point, the smell builds up to a level that is too strong to be enjoyable. What can you do to prevent that? How to bring back that “new car” smell?

There are many tips that will help you keep your car smelling nice even after years of use. Some of these rely on regular maintenance and cleaning, while others depend on the use of correct products. Pick up the best car air freshener first and then read our tips and tricks below.

  1. Clean the mats frequently — Mats are responsible for some of the worst smells in your car. As they often get dirty, they also get to absorb a lot of odors that then spread all around the interior of your vehicle. Cleaning them often is crucial.
  2. Clean your air vents — Air vents, as you can imagine, also play a part in how your vehicle smells. That is why air vent scents are so popular. Clean them often to avoid building up grime. You can use cotton swabs to do this.
  3. Use baking soda on the seats — Baking soda absorbs odors without damaging fabrics, which is why it’s often used to clean the seats. Seats are often the culprits behind a foul smell in the car. Spills and stains are common, and they all leave behind a trace that can be nullified with some baking soda.
  4. Do not smoke in the car — If you’re a smoker, lighting up a cigarette while in the car is a no-no. It doesn’t matter that you’ve got your windows open — the smell will still linger.
  5. Clean regularly — Aside from the aforementioned cleaning steps, it’s good to simply give your car a professional cleaning session every now and then.
  6. Use an odor eliminator — Once everything is clean, spray down your car with an odor remover.
  7. Always use scents — Make sure you’ve got enough to quickly put up a replacement if needed. If your car always smells nice, you will unconsciously pay more attention to observing good habits inside it.
  8. Use essential oils — Essential oils, aside from their healing and relaxing qualities, usually have a wonderful scent. Your favorite essential oil can probably double as an air freshener for the car. They also come in a variety of scents that tend to last longer than some other variants. You can use essential oils with an oil diffuser, felt pad, and other types of air fresheners.

Most of odor control relies on prevention rather than fixing the source of bad smell. Try not to eat strong-smelling foods, smoke, or do other things that may cause odors.

What Air Freshener Do Car Dealers Use?

If you’re ever shopping at a car dealership, you may find that all the cars smell like new. The funny thing is that not all of those cars are fresh out of the factory. In fact, many of them have tens of thousands of miles and many years behind them. How do car dealers achieve that “new car” smell?

The answer is simple: they use the best car air freshener. Many brands offer a New Car scent, which accurately replicates the way cars smell when they are still brand new. One such car air freshener that we recommended is the Chemical Guys Premium Air Freshener. This product is specially engineered to make your vehicle smell as if you’d only just bought it.

Many car dealers also use air fresheners that you hang up on the rearview mirror. As these are manufactured by many of the most popular brands, they also offer the ever-so-popular “new car” scent.


Many of us spend half our life in the car. Be it a daily commute or a long road trip, your car may sometimes feel like a second home to you. That is why it’s especially important to make your ride as comfortable as it can possibly be.

Essential oils, scent air vent attachments, hanging scents, jar scents, and more — all of these are there for you. They will aid you in your quest to finding the best car air freshener on the market. Don’t settle for something good. Aim for the best and enjoy even the longest rides starting tomorrow!

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