Air fresheners are time-honored product, found hanging on the back of car mirrors and even plugged into wall sockets. One of the bigger names in the market is AirWick, around for decades, making homes smell a bit more floral, woodsy or fruity depending on your fragrance choice. Not to miss the smart home trend, AirWick has a Bluetooth-connected air freshener as well called Essential Mist.
A connected air freshener is not the same as an air purifier or an air monitor, like Awair. These two products can either clean the air inside a space, or detect air quality issues from carbon dioxide to particulates in the air. An air freshener, in contrast, will provide fragrance, diffusing a scent for a period of time. At just $19.99, the AirWick Essential Mist does just that, working over a Bluetooth connection, and likely one of the most affordable smart devices someone can buy. But does adding smarts to a device that already works without being connected make sense? We tested one to find out.
Launching the freshener
The AirWick Essential Mist Bluetooth-connected diffuser comes with the actual freshener plus a vial of fragrance — we got the Pineapple, Peach and Wild Mint option — and three AA batteries. The batteries mean you don't have to plug the air freshener into the wall, and instead have more options of where you want to place this in your home.
To get the diffuser ready, you want to lift off the cover, install the batteries, then remove the cap from the fragrance vial and snap that into the back of the device. Then, replace the cover.
You also need to download the AirWick app, which works on both iOS and Android devices. While some devices, like robot vacuums for example, can work without an app, that's not the case with the AirWick Essential Mist. There isn't a switch to make the diffuser pump out fragrance — this has to be scheduled in the app.
Once you've launched the app, and set up an account, turn on the air freshener on the back and then connect via Bluetooth to your app.
We had some trouble connecting the AirWick to the app, and also setting the schedule to get it to workGearBrain
Setting up the air freshener was not simple. You're asked to either select a preset schedule or create your own. I selected the Afternoon schedule. But the diffuser didn't run. I created a custom schedule to see if I could force the mister to work. It didn't.
I decided to start over, and disconnect the air freshener from the app, and reconnect it. As I started to link the Air Wick to the app again — the diffuser started to run, even when it wasn't connected.
I did manage to reconnect the Air Wick to the app, and from that point forward the air freshener did work. These hiccups only happened the one time.
In the app you can also customize the intensity of the scent you want misted throughout your space, from a 1 to a 5, the latter the strongest. I found the 5 to be a bit too much when the scent first came out. I also didn't love that you couldn't adjust that slider unless you were actually in the scheduled time — in other words, you can't preset the strength.
The app also lets you know how much power remains in the battery, say the room where you've set the air freshener, and select the mood you're going for: sleep, refresh, meditate, energized and so forth. There's nothing that indicates what those settings do to the mist or the amount that comes out. That would have been nice to know.
There are a number of scent options from lavender to mandarin, eucalyptus to cinnamon & apple crisp, and even one called Fresh Water Breeze.
The one I had was called Pineapple, Peach and Wild Mint, a scent I found a bit cloying, certainly sweet. Luckily, the diffuser doesn't push out mist every second but instead sends a plume into the air for about five seconds at a time. Turn your head for a bit and you might miss it — but you'll certainly know because of the lingering scent in the air.
Not someone who tends to use air fragrance, I did find the scent slightly artificial. I prefer to throw open a window and get some fresh air. But for those who like using these kind of air scents, the fragrance didn't stay heavy in the air for too long. And this is with the air freshener on its highest setting. You can certainly set this to pushed out the lightest amount, and then would likely get just a hint of scent.
Refills are fairly inexpensive, about $5, and should last you about 45 days.
You get a vial of fragrance with each Air Wick Essential Mist Bluetooth-connected diffuserGearBrain
An air freshener is a fairly simple product, one that doesn't need much to work. In the case of the Air Wick Essential Mist, this may be a case where making something smart didn't actually make it better. The ability to schedule when you want an air freshener to work is certainly a plus, which the Essential Mist allows customers to do. Why have something working when you're not around to benefit from its key feature? Then again, adding an app in this case doesn't enhance the experience that much.
If you're a heavy air freshener user, the Air Wick Essential Mist Bluetooth-connected diffuser may be a fun thing to try. You can also add some flexibility to your life in when you want the diffuser to run — and where you want to place it in your home.
But is it a big improvement on standard air fresheners? Not really. That, plus the finicky nature of the app, makes this one device that's not going to smarten your life just that much.
- Runs on batteries so can be placed anywhere
- Extremely easy to set up
- App is very temperamental
- Scent is cloying
- Can't set intensity until it's running
Air Wick Essential Mist Bluetooth Connected Diffuser (Starter Kit + Refill)