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Creating a custom gift from scratch: an &Open case study

We on-boarded a new client earlier this year; a big gig-economy player. They're actively disrupting the car-rental market, and wanted to up their CX stakes with a bespoke corporate gifting program.

Turo, a Cali-based car sharing company were looking for a bespoke gifting catalogue representative of their brand: products that were responsibly made, corporate gifts that would last.


For one such gift, their brief was simple; a scented auto air freshener that was indicative of the company and brand experience. Naturally, we used this gift opportunity to become experts (or at the very least, expertly informed) in the world of perfumery.

So began our case study with research into essential oils, looking at those native to California (Turo’s HQ) or kindred to the area. Narrowing it down to four options: Cedarwood, Grapefruit, Bergamot and Geranium, we found ourselves particularly endeared to woodsy, citrusy and floral scents to suit both the car and the local terrain.

Given classic tree-shaped air fresheners are still abundant in cars throughout the world, we wanted to air on the side of individuality for Turo’s custom product.

Now that we’d captured the scent, the appearance of the product was next to be decided and as it happened, the arrowed shape of Turo’s logo presented itself as an option for a unique air freshener design. Ultimately, we landed on bergamot. A complex and unusual scent, (not typically associated with air fresheners), it was somewhat of an enigma to everyone in the office before the project and prompted some further research.

Citrus bergamia — the bergamot orange — is a fragrant citrus fruit the size of an orange, but in a yellow or green colour similar to a lime. It’s what gives Earl Grey tea it’s distinctive, delicate flavour and it’s a popular component in those more profoundly flavoursome marmalades.


Having configured both scent and shape, the product design was explored using patterns native to Turo’s creative portfolio. A neutral colour was chosen to offset the bold and brash colours typically associated with auto air fresheners, that worked well in tandem with the swirling patterns and statement brand name.

Packaging would follow a similarly thoughtful composition, noting how important responsible production is for both Turo and us here at &Open. The card used for both the product backing and the air freshener itself is 100% recyclable.


Our first foray into the world of car scenting culminated in what we would consider a pretty fresh (see what we did there) approach to an established product. Now, the car fresheners are being gifted throughout the US, keeping both customers and their auto companions fragrantly content.

For scenting discoveries and/or any gifting enquiries email

Next Article

Three things to consider when sending a customer gift

Priority #1: make sure it's contextual.

&Open Jul 03, 2019

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