Is it ever ok to gift air fresheners for Christmas? Here's what we think

Is it really a faux pas to give an air freshener as a Christmas gift? We explore the options that won't leave your gift recipient aghast

Air freshener
(Image credit: Getty)

Air fresheners are useful, and many people like using them, but is it ever acceptable to gift them for Christmas? If you're on a gifting budget this year, then there's at least one attractive feature – air fresheners are almost always cheaper than reed diffusers or candles, so they are tempting as stocking fillers.

We'll say outright, though, that not all air fresheners are gift-worthy. As a basic rule, avoid gifting anything that is sold in a supermarket or Boots that your gift recipient can pick up as part of their weekly food shop. Sorry, Glade/Febreze – reliable and popular you may be, but Christmas gift material you are not. 

However, if you know the person you're buying for likes pleasant room smells, and especially if you've seen them use room fresheners before, there are now plenty of gifting opportunities that straddle the territory between odour neutralisers and home fragrance. Here are our top picks from this category (which we ourselves would quite like to receive as gifts).

Yankee Candle Water Garden Fragrance Spheres | £4.99

Yankee Candle Water Garden Fragrance Spheres | £4.99 £3.74 at Yankee Candle UK 

Yankee are our firm affordable home fragrance favourite, but the fragrance spheres option is even more affordable than the candles. The spheres work as odour neutralisers and home fragrance in one, and we really like the Water Garden scent, which is a fresh floral composition with lily-of-the-valley and woody notes. A fuss-free, nicely packaged stocking filler.

Airwick Air Freshener Essential Mist Aroma Kit Apple & Cinnamon | £19.96

Airwick Air Freshener Essential Mist Aroma Kit Apple & Cinnamon | £19.96 £9 at Amazon 

This is such a clever air freshener/room fragrance crossover from AirWick – part freshener, part essential oils diffuser, it has an attractive design and produces a fine mist quite similar to much more expensive devices. The scents are pleasing and quite strong – perfect for getting rid of unpleasant odours while enjoying an aromatherapy-style experience. 

Neom Organics London Mist Spray | £20

Neom Organics London Mist Spray | £20 £16 at Amazon 

Another multi-purpose product, the Neom Organics room spray is aromatherapy treatment, air freshener, and home fragrance in one. It can be sprayed as and when for mood enhancement or to refresh a room. Our favourite scent is 'De-stress', which combines lavender, jasmine, and rosewood. And the packaging is totally gift-worthy. 

Molton Brown Home & Linen Mist Orange and Bergamot | £26 at Beauty Expert

Molton Brown Home & Linen Mist Orange and Bergamot | £26 at Beauty Expert

This will delight either Molton Brown fans or those who love sparkly, citrusy scents. What we really like is the fact that this can be sprayed on fabrics and linens, so can be sprayed on sheets, towels, and upholstery for a long-lasting refreshing effect. 

Diptyque Baies scented oval | £42

Diptyque Baies scented oval | £42 £33.60 at Selfridges 

Now, this is quite expensive, but it's so pretty and nice-smelling that it will wow a room fragrance connoisseur. Think of it as an air freshener and room decoration in one – it looks great hung on a bedroom or bathroom door and smells like roses and berries. 

Anna is Consumer Editor across Future's home brands. She moved to the world of interiors from academic research in the field of English Literature and photography. She is the author of London Writing of the 1930s and has a passion for contemporary home decor and gardening.