Drying herbs in your car is one of the easiest ways to prevent them from molding in the process. You can lay them out on newspapers, or put them in a paper bag on the front seat. The sun will cook them in a few hours and your car will smell wonderful. (However, now that I've moved to Texas, I’m slowly learning that it might be closer to a few minutes in this Texas heat!)
A simple way to replicate that fresh scent of herbs without butchering your entire plant is to crush a few leaves, stick them in a tea infuser and hang from your rearview mirror. You have a simple air freshener that smells better and is cheaper than those clunky cardboard ones; one that is greener for the environment and looks pretty cool, too.
Photo by Taylor Cole Miller
Infusers are cheap, and come in a variety of shapes. I recommend this heart-shaped tea infuser (pictured at right) from Frontier Natural Products Co-op—it's under $4!
Here are some combinations I have found to be quite successful at freshening up my car without being overpowering:
Rosemary leaves: By themselves, rosemary leaves have a much fresher and more realistic smell than the pine trees you see in every truck on the highway.
Rosemary, cloves and cinnamon sticks: A nice, fresh, Christmas-y scent that packs a little more punch than just rosemary alone. (It was perfect for my Texan Christmas-in-July.)
Lavender: Crush both the flowers and the leaves and fill up the infuser for a relaxing and pretty purple air freshener. This is good for the commuter!
Spearmint: In the process of drying, the mint had a very faint scent but was fresh all the same.
Sage and citrus: A mixture of sage leaves and either lemon or orange peels is my absolute favorite! To strengthen the aroma, just mix a couple drops of your favorite essential oil with the leaves and hang from your rearview mirror.
Have an idea for your own flavorful mix? Share it in the comments section below.