Supermarkets are taking a cue from spas and wellness centers and updating their nonfood aisles with a variety of aromatherapy-type air fresheners and home fragrance products.
Aromatherapy generally uses essential oils and other fragrant plant compounds to improve a person's health or mood. Conventionally manufactured air fresheners may not contain these oils, but consumer interest is compelling companies to develop more imaginative fragrance combinations and exotic scents. The scents are going into sprays, candles and plug-in devices. Often, the draw is packaging: The containers have an upscale look, featuring inviting and well-executed illustrations of plants and fruits.
Perhaps the most noteworthy element in this trend is that authentic aromatherapy products have found their way to — and are feeling right at home on — supermarket shelves.
Glade's “Air Infusions” spray, which comes in a modern curved canister, contains natural scents, and also notes on its label that the fragrance lasts up to an hour. Among the scent profiles are Peaches & Petals, Refreshing Spring, Berry Splash and Ocean Blue. Another Glade line, Glade Scents, at a lower price point, includes the unusual White Tea and Lily.
Febreze's Air Effects air refresher is available in Summer & Splash — an image of three different melons graces the container — Spring & Renewal and Citrus & Light. And Renuzit's Subtle Effects, whose labels note natural scents, comes in Lavender Whisper and Morning Air.
Citra-Solv manufactures Air Scense, an air refresher and neutralizer with essential oils, in Lime and Orange. Their Vanilla scent contains pure vanilla bean.
Frontier Natural Products Co-op, perhaps best known for its wide selection of bulk herbs and spices, has also found its way into mainstream stores with a line of essential oils and aromatherapy mists under its Aura Cacia brand. The mist contains only essential oils and distilled water and can be used as a body spray.
“It was always a dual-purpose product,” said Mindy Seiffert, senior brand manager at Frontier. The line's best seller is Lavender, followed by Patchouli/Sweet Orange, Tangerine/Grapefruit, Ginger/Mint and Cinnamon/Ylang Ylang. Whole Foods, Kroger, Safeway, Hannaford Bros., Publix, Fred Meyer and Food Lion carry the line.