Give Your Olfactory Senses A Tropical Holiday

Tired of opening the car door on a hot day and being greeted with a cloud of odor from fast food bags, kids’ sports equipment and your favorite pet?

Here are some ways to freshen up your interior with aromatic infusions.

Scented sprays, vent clips, gels, waxes, essential oils and cardboard cutouts represent the most popular ways of adding something for your olfactory senses to your cabin.

Experts urge users to begin with a clean cabin, otherwise the product’s scent will simply mask any underlying issues.

“Fragrances are a temporary fix,” said Larry McIsaac, CEO of Kraco Enterprises, makers of Ozium deodorizer. “They work by putting off a scent that’s so overpowering you can’t help but smell it, or by desensitizing your sense of smell.”

Thankfully, getting rid of those foul smells doesn’t take much work, so long as you know what to use.

Deodorizers, on the other hand, work on a microbial level by attacking airborne germs. Air sanitizers are especially popular in hospitals for their ability to kill cold and flu viruses. The products typically come from an aerosol can, though gel canisters are growing in popularity.

“It’s something you can leave in your gym locker, your teenager’s bedroom or beneath the driver’s seat,” he said. “It works exceptionally well because the container is constantly exposed to an isolated environment and cleaning the air.”

McIsaac isn’t suggesting motorists abandon air fresheners. Deodorizing simply provides a clean slate for your preferred fragrance to do its job.

Sprays, waxes, cardboard cutouts and essential oils come in a vast variety of aromas. Lavender, bergamot, coffee, lemon, strawberry, cherry and new car smell represent only a smattering of what’s available.

Below, McIsaac and Susan Broyles, Kraco’s senior product manager, offer the following information for improving cabin environment with deodorizers and air fresheners:

•Clean the interior, find source of odor. Perhaps the kids left cheddar crackers in the backseat. Maybe cigarette smoke lingers in the seat cushions. Whatever it is, clean and vacuum thoroughly before deodorizing for best results.

•Don’t ignore the label. Sometimes a couple of sprays is all you need. Too much can be problematic, creating sticky surfaces attracts dust.

•Find your preferred scent. There’s no shortage of options like vanilla, lavender and citrus.

•Choose your delivery system. Sprays, vent clips, gels, waxes, essential oils and cardboard cutouts permeate the market. Depending on the product and its intensity, the aroma will last anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks.

•Heat often determines the lifespan of the products. An air freshener left in a room-temperature environment lasts longer than one exposed to intense heat and wild fluctuations.