New Car Smell & Ofactory Fatigue

The elusive “new car smell” is perhaps sought-after because it is evocative of the joys that come with owning a new vehicle. It’s pristine, fresh, and exciting - and we have positive associations with the scent because we like our new cars. However, this scent is difficult to replicate with accuracy because of what this scent is. New car smell is the combination of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released from the plastics and glues used in the manufacturing process of the vehicle. Within the first month, the scent will dissipate as the VOCs evaporate. The new car smell is one of those scents that are strangely intoxicating (e.g. permanent markers or gasoline, which both emit VOCs), but high levels or prolonged exposure is linked to health risks. Instead of looking for that new car smell, why not get a new car scent instead with what we think is the best variety of premium air fresheners here.


Across the different types of car fragrances, there is a trade-off between the strength of the scent and its longevity. For instance, if you leave a cardboard air freshener partially in its plastic packaging, it will dry out slowly and therefore retain its scent for longer, but with the caveat of a weaker fragrance (and hanging something in your car with the packaging still on). Likewise, gel-type car fresheners typically allow you to adjust the dissipation rate, so you can control the strength of the fragrance.

No matter the format and fragrance you select, something inevitable is the phenomenon of olfactory fatigue. In time, you will stop noticing the scent as you grow accustomed to it. This is normal, and happens as you are adapting to the scent. Provided that your car fragrance hasn’t completely dried out, someone who hasn’t spent as much time in your car as you (e.g. passengers, friends or your date) will notice the scent.

Ultimately, fragrance is a very personal thing, but finding something you enjoy can significantly improve your driving experience. On top of the fragrance, different products allow you to opt for something totally discrete (an under the seat gel) to something decorative to display on the dashboard, like the Super Apple gel or a Krotie Air perfume bottle clip-on. We hope you’ll find something that suits your style and taste at New Car Scents. 😊

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