Here’s the thing about Febreze, Air Wick, Lysol, and pretty much every one of those seemingly infinite number of sprays meant to cover up that stanky No. 2: They only cover it up. Instead of eliminating a scent altogether, they end up coagulating into a low-hanging cloud of Linen & Sky and the burrito bowl from lunch, which just lets everyone know you’re trying to hide something (and, usually, exactly what it is you’re hiding). Even those diffusers, which often look fantastic above the toilet, won’t really do the trick. To solve this eternal bathroom problem, a new class of air fresheners has sprung up. Instead of sprays that float in the air among all the poopy particles, these new fresheners focus on the source: inside the toilet. They come in either drops or sprays, and are most often (though not always) used prior to any dumping, very successfully working to stop smells before they’re ever able to leak out.
One of the first of its kind to hit the market back in 2007, Poo-Pourri was conceived by Suzy Batiz, a serial entrepreneur, when her husband’s bathroom trips became particularly unsettling. She realized that a few drops of essential oils before he sat down would do the trick. They spent their own $25,000 to open the company, and the spray took off. It works like this: Spray three Poo-Pourri spritzes into the toilet before you settle down. That creates a film over the water, trapping bad smells inside. When your bricks splash down onto it, the film releases Poo-Pourri’s essential oils, leaving a light floral scent. In 2013, the company went viral with an ad called “Girls Don’t Poop” that’s since been viewed almost 40 million times on YouTube. That $25,000 investment has now spawned a $300 million company.
Mask works the exact same way as Poo-Pourri, but has a much more handsome branding, making it better suited for a bachelor pad or a more fashion-conscious, sleek bathroom aesthetic. It’s also the spray of choice at Williamsburg’s East River Pilates.
In a moment of perfect poop synchronicity, our favorite toilet stool has also entered into the freshness market. This Unicorn Gold spritz-before-you-squat spray actually uses real gold nanoparticles, royally crowning your unneeded leftovers.
V.I.Poo is Air Wick’s version. Adding a bit of drama to the mix, in early March Poo-Pourri sued Air Wick for copyright infringement because of this product.
For a higher-end option that can also match with your soaps and hand lotion, Aesop has introduced the Post-Poo Drops. They work a bit differently: Squeeze three drops into the toilet bowl after flushing, and the deodorizing drops will release citrus peel notes. If your odor is particularly strong, they also recommend a drop or two in the sink for extra intensity.
Just a Drop requires just one pre-poop drop before you go, leaving a eucalyptus scent behind. It’s also the smallest of the bunch, for stealthily bringing into the shared bathroom at work.
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