Car Air Freshener Review – California Scents

Car Air Fresheners Review: California Scents

A selection of California Scents products

Prior to being contacted by Opal Products (main U.K. importer and distributor of California Scents) – who asked if we’d like to review some of their products – we’d already come across the California Scents range a few months beforehand. There was a fair bit of talk on the forum DetailingWorld about these car scents, and so our interest was caught.

A lot of people we talk to hate the traditional car scents, such as those trees you hang from your rear-view mirror and other sorts that you buy from large car part stores. They tend to overpower your car interior with a sickly scent nothing like Pine or Orange or whatever else they say. A lot of the time they smell more like toilet fresheners than anything else, and the strong smell makes for headache territory.

Organic and biodegradable vented/non-vented tins review: £2.49 each

California Scents Organic tins review

So, after reading a fair amount on the above-mentioned forum, we bought a few of the little round tins. First impressions are that these look unusual, like nothing else out there, and also very cool too. Names such as Desert Jasmine, Laguna Breeze, Hollywood Tropicana and Malibu Melon are as appealing as they come, and almost enough to make the mouth water.

Opening the lid, there are 3 organic, biodegradable pads inside, which provide the scent. When it comes to fragrance, they are simply amazing and we’ve not come across one we don’t like yet. They kind of remind us of the sweet shops we’d go to when we were young where upon walking into the store, the smell of a thousand varieties of confectionary would hit you like a candy floss wall. Lovely, but here are also definite elements of realism to the aromas as well.

There’s none of the usual headachy, sickly-sweet smell, and although these are strong, they are not over-bearing like other scents.

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As mentioned, we’d tested these for a good 3 months before Opal Products contacted us, so we’ve had more than enough time to see how they lasted. The tins say the fragrance will 60 days, but we had a good 12 weeks out of ours and they were still noticeable to people getting into our cars!

A tip for these to make them last longer; after a couple of months, take out the pads, turn them over and return them to the tin and also add a a few ml of water – this will give them a new lease of life.

Some of the tins come with handy vented lids, which can be passed onto the next tin you buy, if there’s not one included. Handily, these tins also fit into cup holders, which is a good place to stop them flying about as you corner.

So, a huge Thumbs Up from us for the tins-with-pads, but what about the other products they sell?

Xtreme air freshener review: 8/10 – £2.79 each

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We were also sent an Xtreme air freshener, which is a small tin containing ‘solid fragrance oil’. the scent was Twister Berry. opening the lids of slightly cool-looking black tin, there’s a kind of jelly-like substance inside, which doesn’t come out even if you tip the tin upside down. Again, the smell is excellent and I’m having good reports back from the owner of the vehicle it’s in.

The car we’ve been testing it in has had it in for 50 days now and there’s no sign of the smell getting weaker. Considering they have a 45 day-life, according to Opal’s site, that’s great going. Part of that could be the fact that you can put the lid back on the tin if you’re not using the car for a few days or whatever. A slight drawback is that if you want to adjust the strength of the smell you either have the lid on or off, no in-between. 8/10

Vented Clip Palms review: 6.5/10 – £2.79 each

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Onto the ‘Vent Clip Palms’ now. The one we were sent to test was the Melon Mango scent. Again, it’s a ‘spillproof solid fragrance’ with the gel-like stuff inside. To use it, you take out the little glass holder with the gel in and remove the plastic cap before replacing the holder into the vented plastic.

Maybe it was just this particular odour but we found it a little too sickly and strong for our liking. Perhaps it was also because being clipping to the air vent, it’s blown more directly at you. Whatever the case though, we still prefer the organic tins. 6.5/10

Palm Hang Out review: 6/10 – £0.99 each

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Finally, onto the Palm Hang Out. These are much like the trees you can buy to hang in your car, but maybe slightly less toxic-smelling. We were sent out the Monterey Vanilla fragrance, and it’s not too bad. The smell from the normal trees tend to hit you in the face like a 25kg sack of spuds when you open them, but this was fine. A little too strong perhaps, but hopefully it’ll soon ‘wear in’. We’ll update you as the test goes on.

A couple of points to be aware of that we noticed on the packaging on these Palms is no to leave them on plastic or painted surfaces or on upholstery. If that’s the case then they’re definitely more chemically than the others. 6/10


Out of all the air fresheners we tested from California Scents, we definitely found both the organic and vented tins the best, with the Xtreme coming in second. If we get chance, we’ll test more of the California Scents range.

Note: Please do all involved a bit of good, and support the main distributors of California Scents by buying through their approved resellers only – you know you’re buying the genuine article then, and not a cheap copy!

We officially love the Organic tins from California Scents. They’re unusual and cool visually and the aroma’s are not overpowering or chemically and they last for months too!

Click here to visit Opal Products website

Words: Chris Davies | Photography: Chris Davies, Matthew Davies

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