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History of LITTLE TREES Air Fresheners

It was 1952 in Watertown, New York, USA. A milk truck driver had enough of the smell of spilled milk and mentioned the problem to Julius “Jules” Sämann, a local chemist. As luck would have it, Jules had spent some time deep in the Canadian pine forests learning about aromatic oils that give evergreens their soothing, distinctive smell. Jules went to work on this all-too-common problem and – using exceptional fragrances on specialty material – soon developed the concept of a hanging air freshener. He also drew the abstract evergreen shape and gave it the brand name CAR-FRESHNER. Almost 60 years later, Jules’ unobtrusive and ecologically responsible invention is unmatched in quality, efficiency, longevity, convenience and value.

And so an American legend – and an answer for spilled milk – was born.

Jules believed in his idea and started producing the Royal Pine-scented air fresheners in an empty auto shop in Watertown. He sent samples to local gas stations and the air fresheners flew off the shelves. Soon, orders were rolling in from all over the country.

Throughout the 1950s and 60s, people realized that Jules’ air fresheners were an effective way to freshen homes, cars and offices, and the products continued to gain in popularity. Jules added other fragrances – and colors – to the line. Soon a distributor opened a European factory, and by the 1970s, the air fresheners were becoming increasingly popular around the world. Around this time Jules began calling his products the LITTLE TREES air fresheners in the United States to go with the ARBRE MAGIQUE and WUNDER-BAUM names used in other countries.

In the 1980s, CAR-FRESHNER introduced Vanillaroma, a yellow Tree that would take over the “best selling fragrance” title from Royal Pine. The company was quickly becoming a fragrance powerhouse!

In the early 1990s, Jules handed the reins of his company to his son Ronald, a medical doctor. The two generations worked hand in hand until Jules’ death in 1999.

Jules lived to see his invention become a global symbol of freshness and quality, and an American icon. The LITTLE TREES air fresheners have appeared in countless Hollywood movies and TV shows. In fact, there is a special section on this website dedicated to reporting new sightings!

Today, CAR-FRESHNER Corporation is still a family-owned business and is still headquartered in Watertown, New York. Ronald's son Daniel joined the company as General Counsel to help steer the LITTLE TREES brand into the future.

CAR-FRESHNER produces the LITTLE TREES air fresheners in its three factories in the United States: Watertown, New York; Berlin, New Hampshire; and DeWitt, Iowa. CAR-FRESHNER supplies most of the world with US-made Tree-shaped air fresheners. In Europe, however, most Trees come from official factories in Italy, Sweden and Switzerland.

Today, the LITTLE TREES air fresheners are available in over sixty fragrances, including new favorites like Black Ice and New Car Scent. CAR-FRESHNER also offers many other innovative types of air fresheners, from pump sprays to vent clips. We invite you to explore this website and our products.