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That Old-Cab Smell

Ah, the relief of getting into an air-conditioned cab on a hot summer day . . . until you remember that closed windows mean even closer encounters with the scents emanating from those ubiquitous air-fresheners. Here's a look at three of the more, um, popular ones.

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Car-Freshner "Little Trees"
Scent
Royal Pine (other scents include Cinna-Berry and Vanillaroma)
Manufacturer's description
"Little Trees are unique for their quick, powerful, and long-lasting effectiveness."
Cab ride
81st and Park to Penn Station.
What it smells like to passengers
David: "I felt like I was being raped by a pine tree."
Susannah: "I don't know. I was breathing out of my mouth the entire time -- I do that in every cab ride."
What it smells like to cabdrivers
Omar: "Like a tree, I guess -- I wouldn't know, there aren't any trees where I live on 113th Street."

North American Oil Co. "Pure Citrus" (non-aerosol spray)
Scent
Orange
Manufacturer's description
"Uses highly concentrated oils extracted from fresh oranges to kill odors instantly."
Cab ride
26th and Fifth to 50th and Park.
What it smells like to passengers
Jamie: "All I smelled was B.O. I hope it wasn't mine."
What it smells like to cabdrivers
Armand: "I assume the passenger would rather smell that orange spray than smell me."

Wizard "Stick-Ups"
Scent
Country Potpourri
Manufacturer's description
"A fresh, outdoor country fragrance."
Cab ride
14th and Third to 42nd and Lexington.
What it smells like to passengers
Lauren: "Those stick-on ones are the worst! I almost got killed because I stuck my head out the window."
What it smells like to cabdrivers
(No name offered): "Why you care what it smells like? You got a problem?"


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