Years ago at a dive bar, Long Beach band Bella Novella gave attendees of their show novelty air fresheners in the shape of a VW bus with their name on them. It seemed like a random way to promote yourself at the time, but now I realize that band was way ahead of the game. Cool air fresheners have become a growing trend for hipsters; they're not only a way to keep your car fragrant and free of bad odors, but also a medium with which you can rep something you love wherever you go.
Looking to ditch those lame trees you've had hanging from your rear-view mirror for ages? Here are the coolest fresheners on the market that won't overwhelm you with that basic pine fragrance with which you can adorn your car, your room or your neck!
Fuchila Fresheners: Fuchila comes from Spanish vernacular for "P.U." Besides odorizing your car, these fresheners showcase Chicanx and Latinx pride, with colorful, illustrated designs reminiscent of many cultural icons such as masked wrestlers, sugar skulls, Frida Kahlo, piñatas, even Pancho Villa. All proceeds from sales go toward the Fuchila Familia Fund, which gives entrepreneurial scholarships to youths starting their own businesses. Find them in the Museum of Latin American Art gift shop (628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach, 562-216-4102). www.fuchilafresheners.com.
Mexicool Culture Traders: Another retailer that offers Latinx-centric fresheners, only with humorous designs such as knockoff brands of Pacifico beer, Bicks Vaporrub (a parody of Vicks) and a red MAGA hat with the words "Make America Smell Like Tacos Again." Each one has a distinct scent, including strawberry, pineapple, eucalyptus, beer, baked pan dulce bread and tacos. Available at Alta Baja Market (201 E. Fourth St., Santa Ana, 714-783-2252). www.mexicool.com.
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RIPNDIP: This skate brand offers a variety of air fresheners featuring its signature feline mascot. The Frida Kahlo design, according to the online store, smells like fresh laundry. www.ripndipclothing.com.
Craig Gleason: This Phoenix-based artist made a small line of his own fresheners, designed after his ghoul illustrations that have gained a cult following. Available in strawberry, vanilla and pine! secretheadquarters.limitedrun.com.