How To Make Your Own Car Air Freshener With Perfume

Whether you want to get rid of a stuffy car smell or simply enjoy a nice fragrance as you drive to work, a car air freshener can help. There are many types of car air fresheners you can buy ranging from vent clips to under-seat air fresheners.

But maybe you want something you are sure is 100% natural or you just love DIY-ing around with essential oils. In that case, it’s easy to whip up your own air freshener. There are two main components you’ll need; essential oils and an absorbent material.

The essential oil is for making the perfume. The absorbent material is for holding onto the perfume for as long as possible, allowing the fragrance to diffuse gradually in the car.

Read on to learn how to make your own car air freshener with perfume.

1. Decide Which Fragrance You Want

The first step is to decide which fragrance you prefer to have in your car. If you want only one specific fragrance such as lemon, lavender or rose, you just need a single essential oil.

If you want a more complex perfume fragrance, maybe something that reminds you of the ocean or a rain forest, you need to create a blend.

2. Prepare Your Perfume

If you’ve decided to go with the blend, it’s time to prepare it. Make sure you have all the equipment and essential oils you need. Be careful when handling essential oils as they can be really irritating if they come into contact with your skin. Wear a pair of gloves.

Unless you have experience mixing essential oils, I recommend finding a good recipe online. Find one that matches the final fragrance you want.

3. Prepare The Perfume Holder

Finally you’ll need a DIY perfume holder. It will consist of the absorbent material such as cotton and something to hold that material such as a pin, a chain or jar. There are a gazillion possibilities here. Be as creative as you want. Here are a few ideas.

Bobby pin, ribbon and cotton air freshener

You’ll need a large bobby pin and a length of ribbon between 0.5 and 2 inches wide. You’ll also need some cotton to soak the perfume in and a glue gun to attach the ribbon to the pin. Here is a good video explaining how to make a simple vent air freshener from these components.

Felt air freshener

If you want an air freshener to hang in your car, use wool felt. It’s easy to cut into different shapes and thick enough to hold the essential oil for long.

The first step is to cut the felt into the shape you want such as a Christmas tree, heart or cookie. If you drive your kids around in the car often, you can cut the felt into fun shapes like animals or a face with googly eyes.

You’ll need to make a small hole into the shape you’ve cut. Pass a string or small chain through it and use it to hang the felt in the car. But before you hang it up, you need to turn it into an actual air freshener.

You can use a single type of essential oil or make a blend depending on what kind of perfume signature you want. Then use a dropper to apply several drops of the oil onto the felt.

Be generous with the essential oil because a significant amount of it will evaporate. The remaining amount is absorbed into the felt and evaporates more slowly as it gives of a nice scent in your car.

A simple clothespin air freshener

This is the simplest of them all. Take a wooden clothespin and pour 5 or so drops of essential oil (or essential oil blend) on it. Make sure it is fully soaked.

Immediately put the clothespin in a sandwich bag and close it. This is to prevent the oil from evaporating, giving it time to soak into the wood. Some people add herbs like mint to the sandwich bag to give the pins a richer scent.

The pin should be ready in a couple of hours. To use it, just pin it to your car’s vent. Note that you can prepare two or three pins at a time and clip them all on the vent for a stronger fragrance.

The advantage of this air freshener is that the perfume is only activated when there is heat from your vent. So it lasts longer. And when the fragrance gets weak, you can always reuse the clothespins.


Once you try out a DIY car air freshener you may find that you prefer its gentle fragrance over the strong, and sometimes irritating, smell of store-bought air fresheners.

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