In the interest of lighthearted fun, we’re taking a break from reporting grim news or trying to offer anything motivational, because why not. One of our designers had a fantastic idea to take a look at all the stereotypical air freshener choices car guys dangle from their rear-view mirrors, indicator stalks, shift knobs, roll cages, and wherever else you think needs an olfactory improvement. So today, we’re going to look at the ten types of air fresheners and what they say about the drivers who use them.

Little trees

You’ve all seen the cars with 400 Black Ice little trees. The Little Trees brand air fresheners are perhaps some of the most well-known air fresheners on the planet. These are most often seen in cars that have not had a deep-cleaning since the second owner traded it in to a dealership who sent it to auction to be purchased by a buy-here-pay-here lot and then sold to an owner that uses every imaginable surface of the car as an ash tray. You know that without these air fresheners, the car probably smells like the floor under bench seats at your local pool hall. They are also known as ‘probable cause’ during a traffic stop.

Air freshener that has a picture of the car its in

Whether it’s a MK3 VW Golf, BMW E30, or a Mitsubishi Starion, this owner is absolutely all about their car. I mean obsessed. You know that air freshener isn’t the only swag they have that tells everyone in eyeshot that they’re someone to be avoided at parties. This is the owner who will find any excuse to interject in any conversation ‘I drive a ____.’ If you see a Corrado with a Corrado air freshener, it’s best to avoid eye contact with the owner or you might be dragged into a four hour conversation about active aero in a front wheel drive car. 

Parts company free air fresheners

When you see a parts company’s air freshener in someone’s car, you know it wasn’t a choice the owner made because the car needed some additional scents. They want you to know ‘iTs MoDiFiEd.’ They are incredibly proud of their short-ram intake they purchased from the local parts store or the chinesium steering wheel they found in an absurdly titled eBay listing. It’s the low-commitment equivalent of putting your parts list in vinyl on your doors a-la-Fast and Furious. 

Knock off little trees

Definitely not a car guy. Probably found this in the ‘impulse buy’ rack before checking out at the dollar store next to a tabloid from 2013. They immediately put them in their car to cover up the smell of Baco Tell and the previous knock-off trees they have yet to fish out from between the seats. Likely, the car is something you see in a parking lot with the owner and their passengers having a vocal argument while the child in the back seat plays with an action figure missing at least one limb. 

Vent stick ons

Only found in SUVs and minivans built between 1999 and 2004 driven by someone who definitely receives AARP checks. They definitely used to smoke in the car but quit after their doctor told them they have to pick between a pack a day or another twenty years of life. They’re definitely reconsidering picking up a pack at this point, as the vent stick-on doesn’t cover up the smell of over a decade’s worth of brown boxing their interior. 


Likely this owner is under 25, probably still in high school, and has to take it down when they pull up to their parent’s house. The meme is one that hasn’t been relevant in at least a few years, but they still make references to it like Anchorman jokes at the cafeteria table. They purchased a pack of meme air fresheners and have been running through them for the last year or more and whichever one is hanging from the rear view is effectively where they derive their sense of humor while acting as though they are an original content creative genius. 

Supreme air freshener

To match their Supreme slides, Supreme skate board deck (they’ve never ridden,) and Supreme pool float. Their personality is essentially dictated by a company that tells them who to be and what to think. You can spot this driver anywhere, even if you don’t see the air freshener, thanks to their sadboi lo-fi beats and the smell of chocolate eclair vape smoke. 

Air fresheners from a car show

“It was so lit bro!” They exclaim right before they list off a stream of excuses as to why their car wasn’t in the showcase. “If I had real wheels,” “next year when my wide body gets painted,” and “bags are for groceries” are some of their favorite exclamations when speaking to anyone who received a trophy or made the aftermovie. 

Repping media source your car will never be in

This driver hopes that by purchasing a media company’s air freshener for 3x the price of a normal air freshener they will somehow be noticed by the YouTube channel and featured despite their ‘build’ still sitting in the garage on jack stands. “When it’s finished I’m gonna kill the game” is their catch phrase. Their bank account likely has an overdraft notice at least once a month. 


An air freshener that depicts a phrase or image that would make even the cast of Jackass think is excessive. This owner desperately wants to prove to anyone and everyone that they don’t care what ‘society’ thinks and ‘you’ll never understand me, MOM!’ They are generally the person you knew in high school who was fairly reserved or maybe in that group of semi-popular kids but never drew too much attention. Now, they want to make up for all the years people underestimated them and fill your Facebook feed with vulgar memes like a giant middle finger to any job with benefits. 

Left in the packaging

The neat freak. This driver bought or received the air freshener as a collectible, not to hang it in their car. They keep it in a box with stickers, other air fresheners, t-shirts from shows, and the badging from their car they removed but didn’t have the commitment to throw away. The box is labeled ‘memories’ and sits neatly in their closet next to their organized outfits hanging in plastic covers and above their color-coordinated shoe collection. There is one fork, one spoon, one knife, one plate, and one cup in an otherwise bare kitchen likely painted a shade of white they claim isn’t psych ward white. 

Bonus: No air freshener

These drivers have no personality and are afraid to let anyone know anything about them at any point. Their car stays immaculately clean to the point of obsessive compulsion and they own at least a car payment’s worth of detailing supplies that they use religiously. They spend so much time cleaning their car they haven’t taken it to a show or on a spirited drive in three years and are at the point of hysteria whenever they find pollen, bird poop, or even a fingerprint on their car. 


This is clearly satire. Neither ECS or I, the writer, hold these values or opinions in any way, it’s purely for fun. I have been most of these myself and know many people in my life who I care about that are the rest of these, to one degree or another. This is all hyperbole, please don’t take it seriously. We respect all owners and all builds, but in this somewhat sad time, we could all use some laughs. I had some fun coming up with these stereotypes and hope that anyone who reads them can enjoy them in good humor. If you feel personally attacked, we can always supply you with a different air freshener so you can move to a different stereotype.