Dollars and Scents

A breezy history of the air freshener.

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


1930s

Lysol is America’s most popular contraceptive. Really.

1952

Little Trees first hung on rearview mirrors.

1956

Glade introduces the air freshener spray can.

1974

Glade solid scent sticks hit shelves.

1989

Plug-in air fresheners exude ambience 24-7.

1994

Man sprays Prince Charles with a can of air freshener.

1997

US air freshener sales reach $239 million.

2002

Renuzit unveils the Super Odor Neutralizer.

2004

Air Wick releases Relaxation and Revitalization scents. Febreeze launches Scentstories “scent-themed” discs. Sample: Exploring a Mountain Trail.

2006

Glade presents the Scented Oil Light Show—designed for girls 8 to 12.

2007

Enviro group finds hormone-disrupting chemicals in “all-natural” air fresheners, asks epa for further testing. SC Johnson sues Dial for stealing its three-scents-in-one idea.

2008

US air freshener market hits $2.3 billion—not including scented candles.

Related article: Germ Warfare

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest