After hanging from the rearview mirror for nearly 11 months since its initial opening and emitting its purported “Black Ice” scent, reports have confirmed that the air freshener in Baltimore, Maryland resident Harry Watters’s car no longer holds its original scent and is simply there for show.
“I got it awhile back while I was getting my oil changed. There were a bunch of them sitting by the register so I figured why not,” Watters said. “It was just a throw-in kind of thing.”
Watters, 34, was reminded of the freshener’s impotence while adjusting his rearview mirror after letting his friend borrow his car, a 2009 Chevrolet Impala, for the weekend. According to reports, this wasn’t the first time Watters had considered swapping the old freshener out for a new one or just getting rid of it altogether.
“I thought about it a couple weeks ago, but I must’ve forgotten,” he said. “It’s been there awhile.”
Sources say that Watters followed the initial instructions of uncovering the air freshener gradually so as not to overwhelm his car with its potency. He kept this up for a few weeks, but eventually got tired of the little plastic bag hanging from the tree and decided to release it about a week earlier than the package recommended. Investigators speculate that this move could have caused the air freshener to lose scent even earlier than initial reports anticipated, but remain unsure of when exactly it became purely a decoration.
Watters has let other air fresheners hang past their prime before—in 2011, two months after buying the car used, he decided to spruce things up with a cotton-scented Yankee Candle brand air freshener, only to let it linger in his car for a whopping 17 months.
“I tried to find that scent again, but no place I went to had it,” Watters explains. “I was going to order one online but it sort of slipped through the cracks.”
He wound up with Black Ice after remembering smelling it in a friend’s car once, he thinks. He recalls a few people commenting on the fresh scent after he put it in the car, but he can’t remember who.
At press time, there were no reported plans to remove the air freshener from the rearview mirror, and experts think it might remain untouched and unacknowledged for another three to four months. Watters could not be reached for further comment.