Scent is probably the most powerful memory trigger there is. A single tickle of a childhood fragrance across the old olfactory glands can easily send you back to being five years old, sitting at your grandmother’s kitchen table eating chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven. Now from Febreze, makers of sprays designed to magically remove smelly smells from fabrics in your home comes Scentstories, an air freshener “player” that uses discs with five different scents per disc to smell your house back up again! (The irony) So how does this “player” work, and is there really a difference between the way “creamy vanilla” and “french vanilla” smell?
(All images in this review can be clicked on for larger resolution photos)
What’s in the Box?
What’s Good about it?
The player is well-constructed and looks funk-o-liciously hi-tech for being an air freshener. After removing the foil freshness seal from the disc, I plugged in the unit, slapped in the disc, closed the lid and hit “play.” The Scentstories has a surprisingly powerful little fan that shoots the lovely scents from the disc out of the front of the unit. Scent titles are circulated 1 every 30 minutes, over the course of 2 and a half hours. After that the unit automatically shuts itself off. A little window on the side shows you the number of the scent you be smellin, and some of the names are…well….judge for yourself. From “exploring a mountain trail” we have
1) following the winding creek
2) walking besides wildflowers
3) exploring the mountains
4) high in the mountain pass
5) gazing at the tall firs
Whew. I was all “natured out” so I popped in the extra disc I picked up, the quite aptly named “shades of vanilla.” There actually is a difference between all five of the vanilla scents on this disc, which genuinely surprised me. You can manually step through the different scents by pressing the play/next button, and there are three levels of “smell-o-intensity” to choose from. I REALLY wanted to take in the whole vanilla experience you know what I’m sayin, so I cranked the intensity up to the high level and within minutes my office smelled like a vanilla wildnerness full of vanilla nut cake wildflowers and tall firs. Pressing stop on the unit will stop the scent madness and power the unit off.
So what do the different scents smell like? Yummy! Out of the ten to assail my nostrils, there was not a one I found offensive. I liked a few of them better than others of course, but there was not a single scent that caused me to instantly yak.
What could be improved?
When inserting the discs, I expected them to lay flat or snap in. When actually inserted they kind of sit at an angle, and even when I tried to press them flat they would pop up again. They do go flat when you close the lid – perhaps adding this information to the instructions would help those like me who expect a “console cartridge” tight fit. Also, the unit resets the discs back to the first scent on the disc each time it finished playing them all – that’s how it can keep track of where it is on the playlist. This stop process, if you press stop on say scent number two or another in the middle of the disc can take a REALLY LONG TIME. Keep in mind I am a gadget maniac who expects the DVD tray to eject immediatly when I press the eject button. After what seemed like an eternity, the unit reset itself back to number one (creamy vanilla – yum!) and I could eject the disc. You cannot eject a disc until the unit stops and resets the disc to one, so switching discs can take up to a minute or more. The numbers that display what scent is being played are small and the same color as the background they are on, if there is a Scentstories Part II we would suggest coloring in the numbers so they are more visible and even putting a small magnifying screen over them to make them easier to read.
PLEASE keep in mind that the scentstories player does not actually play music. (It slays me that Febreze ACTUALLY had to create a FAQ for this question.) If you could download new scents from
iScents SmellTunes for 99 cents a smell, THOUGH, now that would be something….