The Air Freshener That Makes My Car Smell Like a Spa (Plus 20 Other Things I Keep In My Trunk)

Essentials that make L.A. driving more tolerable.
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The other week, I dropped my keys in my car and watched, helpless, as they fell into a black hole. After posting my struggle to retrieve them on Instagram, my friend Dorianne DMed me and said, "Wait, you don't have a Drop Stop?" Before her message, I'd never heard of the simple mechanism that stops small items from falling between seats. Needless to say, I ordered one on the spot. The exchange made me realize how many random, specific things people keep in their cars and made me curious about what else is out there. For those who have similar voyeuristic tendencies, I thought I'd share the life-changing, useful, and completely random items I always keep in my car: 

Organizational Compartments: Anyone who lives in a city that requires a lot of driving knows an organizational system is essential. I have one we hang on the back of the seats in the trunk to keep miscellaneous items for errands, like dry cleaning and items to bring into the office. It isn't a perfect system (while writing this post, I found a purse I'd set aside to fix months ago and thought I'd lost), but it certainly helps. 

A beach towel: Most people I know who live in South California have a beach towel in their car since it comes in handy a surprising amount of times. I like to have one on hand for the beach and park with Sloan.

Diptyque Car Diffuser and Baies Insert: A few weeks ago, I got into my friend Cristina's car and it smelled like a spa. I immediately commented on it, and she pointed to the source: a diffuser on her air vent. Far from the pine trees that hang from taxi cab mirrors, hers smelled like one of my favorite candles, with good reason: It's made by Diptque. I quickly purchased one for my own car. 

Pen and Pad of Paper: I hate that this is one of the first things that comes to mind, but just keeping it real...I've nicked my fair share of cars (which is inevitable if you live in L.A.). I keep a pen and paper in my car so I can leave a note under the windshield with my information if the owner isn't there. 

WipesTide To-Go Stick, and Hand Sanitizer: I keep these on hand for Sloan's messes... but honestly use them on myself just as often. I also keep hand sanitizer in the car for the same reason. Ideally it's one that smells really good (I love this brand).

Outwear and Comfortable Shoes: After Geoffrey told me about the podcast The Big One, all about the potential of an enormous earthquake in Los Angeles (I was actually far too scared to listen myself), I added comfortable walking shoes and jackets for myself, G, and Sloan to my car so that we're prepared, should we need to be. 

Window Breaker: While we're on the subject of catastrophe...my biggest fear in life is getting trapped in a car that's going underwater. Having this in my middle console gives me peace of mind, no matter how unlikely it is. 

Flip Flops: I keep a pair of flip-flops in my trunk, in case there's ever an opportunity for a spontaneous pedicure.

Sunglasses and Prescription Glasses: At any given time, I have upwards of three pairs of sunglasses in my car; they all somehow gather there. I also have a very low prescription, and use those glasses when driving at night.

Swell Water Bottle: I always keep my Swell in the car since, no matter how hot it gets, it somehow keeps water ice-cold. It's expensive, but worth every penny. 

Snacks: I keep a few extra snacks on hand for both Sloan and myself, maybe a bag of Pirate's Booty for Sloan and a bar or nuts for myself in case we get stuck in bad traffic between meals. 

Perfume Samples: Anytime I receive a perfume sample I like, I stash it in my car so I can use it to freshen up during the day. #naturaldeodorantlife

Candy and Gum: I often have some sort of candy that doesn't melt in my side console. I favor Hot Tamales, Good and Plenty, or any gummy since those only get better in the heat... finding slightly warm candy in your car is the equivalent to finding a $20 bill in your jean pocket. I also always keep Peppermint Ice Breakers in the car, which I buy by the pack on Amazon.

Loose Change and Dollars: I always keep a few dollars in a pouch in my car in case there's an unexpected toll or, more likely in L.A., a valet so that I'm never without a few dollars as tip. Most meters in L.A. take credit card, but it doesn't hurt to have change just in case, too. 

Canvas Bags: I keep a stash of reusable bags in the trunk for groceries—these are my favorite. 

Bag of Entertainment for Sloan: After improvising one too many times with games surrounding sugar packets, Geoffrey and I now keep a tote filled with little things to entertain Sloan if we go out to eat. It includes crayons, a coloring book, and some of her favorite figurines. 

Umbrella: Despite the fact that it rains about twice a year in L.A., I keep a foldable umbrella in my trunk, just in case. 

Phone Charger: My phone is essential to my job, and being a mom. Rather than risk being caught with a drained battery, I charge it anytime I'm driving. 

I'd love to hear—what are some of the random essentials you keep in your car?

Hero and Promo image via Diptyque