Stinky car? Forget the pine tree air-freshener

Canadians typically spend one hour a day commuting to work. And Americans spend even more time, enduring an hour-and-a-half a day on the road to and from the office. Spending so much time in a car, with kids coming in and out in the evening and on weekends, dropping Cheerios and Goldfish Crackers all over the seats and floor as they are snacking, not to mention the odours that Fido leaves in his wake, naturally raises the question: How does one keep the car smelling good!

In the past, Canadians resorted to the hanging felt pine tree, which dangled from the rearview mirror while drivers hoped the air vents would swoosh the piney scent around the car into the cracks and crevices where food and who knows what festered for months on end. The little tree rarely did the job, and it could be a nuisance when it obstructed the driver’s view.

There may be a better solution, one that can even have a positive effect on health matters, such as pain, anxiety, depression, nausea – the typical experience of driving home in rush-hour traffic.

We call it “caromatherapy.”

The research behind aromatherapy suggests that using essential oils does more than lighten the fragrance around you; it can also lift your spirits and impact one’s physical wellbeing.

For drivers, “caromatherapy” might just make those trips bearable, if not even pleasant.

First, you will need an aromatherapy car diffuser.

The most important choice, however, is the essential oil one chooses for the drive. Floral scents, while suited to home use, are likely to make one a bit too relaxed and possibly drowsy. So avoid rose, lavender and lily of the valley type oils.

Better suited to the morning and evening drive is citrus – a lively fragrance that helps energize one, both physically and mentally. Lemon or orange are particularly good, as is grapefruit.

Other essential oils also can do the trick, such as peppermint, ginger and even coffee.

The days when one would hang a felt tree in a car and hope the piney scent would do the trick are over. Using essential oils to improve the scent of your car, and change the experience, gives drivers the ability to better set the mood for their commutes and boost alertness as well.

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