* Prices may differ from that shown
I moved house 4 months ago and have been trying to get the place straight (still have some stuff in boxes!). We have had lots of visits from friends and family and it is important to me to have the place appearing as presentable as possible when people drop by. I'm a sucker for a scenty product and love fragrant candles, pot pourri and the like, so I was especially chuffed to get the opportunity to test some new air fresheners from the freshmatic range for free, courtesy of a new web panel called Social Soup. Even though I got the product for free, I aim to write a balanced review, covering both the negative and positive aspects of this product. Freshmatic is a battery powered air freshener that pumps out a burst of fragrance at intervals to keep the home smelling fresh.
This mini air freshener is part of the new aethetics range. The idea is that the products are designed to blend into the surroundings. they are currently available in wood, chrome and granite finishes, as these neutral finishes blend in with most types of decor. The one I got to test was the granite one, which is a pale grey-brown colour mottled with darker dots of colour. It is quite small and sits on the shelf quite unassumingly. I put it in my hallway, as I believe that this was the optimal place to give it most impact when people walk in. The unit itself is quite small and has a modern wavy shape, which makes it look a bit like an ornament.
The air freshener is battery operated and the batteries are already inserted. All you have to do is clip in the little refill unit, which is really easy to do. The one I got to test was the mulled wine fragrance, which smells all spicy and christmassy; a bit like apple pie with cinnamon. It is a warm and welcoming fragrance. The units are also available in crisp linen and lilac and smooth satin and moon lily fragrances. I wish that they would just give the scents more straightforward names. After all, I wouldn't have a clue what "crisp linen, or smooth satin" are supposed to smell like! The refills come in a wider variety of scents.
The unit also has a slider on the front that enables you to adjust the level of fragrance. You can set it to go off every 30, 15 or 7.5 minutes. Personally, I find the half-hour setting more than adequate and would find the 7.5 minute setting really annoying. In fact, I would prefer an additional setting that releases fragrance hourly. The constant bursts of fragrance mean that the hallway always smells nice and fresh and welcoming and the scent is not overpowering because the unit is small.
Another useful feature of the unit is the boost button. Just imagine you see your mother in law coming down the drive on one of her unscheduled inspections...just pump the boost button and your hall smells like mulled wine...yum!
One feature of the unit that I am not keen on is the green LED light that blinks. The LED is a bit offputting and prevents the unit from blending in as well as it could. The purpose of the LED is to indicate when the refill needs changing, or, in the case of the light going out completely, that the batteries need changing. The batteries last between 4 and 5 refills. The refills last up to 60 days depending on the slider setting.
A major downside for me is the actual cost of the product. The are currently £12 in Tesco. Of course, once you have paid out for the initial unit, you don't have to by another one, but you do have to consider the cost of the replacement batteries and refills, which can add up over time and make this particular model a litle more expensive to run and maintain that other air fresheners. That said, it does a much better job that your bog standard gel air freshener, which only usually work for a week or so. The freshmatic has no loss of scent and delivers a consistent burst when you need it.
My son has aspergers and is fascinated with watching the unit to see when it will go off. He just sits at the bottom of the stairs staring at it and then gets excited when it goes "pfffft"! Cheap entertainment! I thought the hissing noise would freak out my cat, but she seems quite unperturbed by the whole thing. You would have to be careful with young children as they may think it is a toy. the recommendation is actually that the unit be placed 2 metres above floor level, which is actually quite high and limits where you are able to place it.
Another downside for me is the fact that you can't switch the unit off. When I go to bed, the unit is still pumping fragrance into the hallway, but nobody gets the benefit. It seems wasteful, but short of ripping the batteries out every night, I have no solution to the problem.
So, the big question is (after getting a free trial)...would I buy one? Well, not at the current price of £12 I wouldn't, but if it was on offer half price, I would probably buy one. It is actually the most effective air freshener I have used and I like the fact that the home always smells nice when guests drop by. The design is neat and fits anywhere. The only design flaws for me are the ugly green LED light and the fact you can't switch it off. The upsides are that the scent is lovely and this is quite clearly a quality product. It would be ideal for homes with kids and pets as it is great at banishing nasty whiffs!
After my husband purchased two beautiful looking guinea pigs for my children and with them now residing in my hall (their cage is far too big to put them anywhere else!), I have discovered the delights and of course the smells that seem to go with he owning of a pet!
With the hall being the entry point to our house, not only do I like the cage and surrounding area to be neat and tidy, but to also not be "flavoured" with the scent of guinea pig urine, which of course can get a little stronger when the heating goes on for the winter weather ahead!
To combat this I wanted something that could be left to stand independently, without the need to plug into walls and such, this in part due to the only plug in the room being hidden behind an archaic looking corner unit, that would give occasional bursts of scent, without it using too much product in one sitting, tall feet, nah!
We originally had a large block looking "freshmatic" unit, that did the jo fine as long as you didn't look at it (it was a little on the ugly side) and you weren't directly in front of it, we did have one positioned on the toilet room window sill until one of our male friends was taking a pee and as he looked around to see what the initial click and hiss noise was, nearly got blinded by it!
After having a quick peruse in my local Asda, I was pleased to find this particular freshener on offer, at half the normal price with a refill included.
This freshener is actually a more up to date incarnation of the "ugly" looking freshmatic one mentioned earlier, with the difference being it has had a bit of a make over, reduced in size (by almost half!), and is now a delightful wave shape, so if there is no way of hiding it, it will at least be presentable enough!
He set up is incredibly easy, insert the batteries into the separate chamber at the front, if memory serves me are 3 x AA, with there being a separate chamber for the dinky looking refill tube, being around the size and looking like an asthmatics steroid tube.
You simply insert said tube, in an upright fashion, replace the base then choose your setting. The package states that you can get 30 days continual freshness, though this is of course only if you use it on the lowest of the three settings, and you don't use the instant refresh button too often!
There are three settings, with them being not really well marked out, and not stating time lapses between squirts (probably long gone on the packaging!), with it simply being lines to mark the frequency of squirts, we have deemed the middle one to suffice.
There is also an "express" button, that can be pressed for an instant burst of scent, and can be pressed at will, there is no time restrictions on it, so if there are young children in the house (like mine!), it would be best to keep out of reach, for their health as much as the fresheners!
The final difference is the spraying mechanism, with the original one spraying the scent out the front of it, so you would have to pace it high enough to disperse throughout the room, this one sprays directly upwards, giving it more chance to cover and dispels the smells you want covering!
There is a selection of scents available in the range, with the one I have in at the moment being my particular favourite, "mulled wine and cracking fire", and no I have no idea what a crackling fire smells like, Christmas perhaps?
There are of course the good old favourites, being lavender, citrus, jasmine, all very nice, and not too over powering either, some I have tried have given me an instant headache, it's like visiting Lush every time you go to the bathroom!
The longevity of the product again depends on the setting or frequency of sprays, but on our setting (the middle one), we have found it to last a good three weeks, with the batteries still holding strong two months on.
The refills are again easy to get, but try to get them on offer as full price they are quite expensive, I paid £6.00 for two last week, though in comparison to the same amount of scent in the spray bottles, this works out about right.
For the unit itself, bearing in mid you get a refill and the batteries too, we paid £5.00, but have seen them for considerably more, so best if bought on offer!
For more information visit - www.airwick.co.uk
For availability visit - www.amazon.co.uk who currently are selling these for £9.99.
Thanks for reading x