If you put any of the commercial television channels on for any length of time, you will start to notice that amongst all the adverts for Christmas food, car insurance and exhortations to sue someone – are floods of adverts for air fresheners.

Not just a basic blob of perfumed gel that sits in a corner and helps to hide the odour of cat litter – but a whole range of mechanical devices with ever more complex puffs and spurts designed to ensure we are surrounded by a chemical concoction that triggers seemingly desirable olfactory reactions.

Am I alone in not understanding the appeal of such chemical additions to the atmosphere in a home?

Yes, I have a can of odour removal spray which comes in handy during the winter when I might prefer to keep the windows closed, but at most times of the year if I have a bad smell in the flat, I just open the window and let the airflow do the necessary.

If I lived next to a smelly factory, then a can of odour removal spray might be of more use. But, why would anyone want to sit in room with the aroma of a chemically stimulated pine forest?

It just baffles me.

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  1. Couldn’t agree more – fresh air is the best medicine and completely underrated.

  2. Andrew F

    Yep! Add myself to the baffle quota. There must be a lot of money in them though. I have occasionally used essential oils in a burner, but they are really nice pure fragrances, whereas these advertised things are just rank.

  3. vicky-jo

    I think the ads are aimed at people with pets or smokers at home. Though some of the ads seem to suggest they help mask the smell of children too.

  4. Nick A

    Frankly – what people chose to waste their money on in their own homes is up to them – my objection is to the increasing use of automatic spray machines which you now find everywhere. If you are in the wrong place at the wrong time you get a great big dose of chemical spray – which for asthma sufferers like me just sets off an asthmatic reaction.

  5. My favourite is the one that advertises the lab-made aroma of “Open Windows”.

  6. TRT

    But you like scented air. It’s fresh and invigorating.

  7. TRT


    I found this stuff in the toilets at my works. You just have to read the Materials Safety Notice on the bottle to go “WTF? Why are you pumping this into the atmosphere, then?”

  8. Brenda Wilkinson

    I recently fell out with my sister over a remark I made about her obsession with air fresheners, the flat smelt like a perfumed garden and the price to be paid was an overload of chemicals. I only use one in the loo but would prefer to open the window

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