Following the release of a $100 retrofit kit marketed toward germaphobes who are swept into some sort of torturous personal hell each time that they’re forced to come in contact with the handle of a commode, "gracious living"-oriented toilet titan Kohler is back with a new — and again, arguably unwarranted — battery-operated product designed to help us forget all about our basic bodily functions.

Like the wave-activated Touchless Flush Kit, the Purefresh Toilet Seat is available as an easy-to-install add-on for existing commodes. Or, if so inclined, consumers can buy a completely new Kohler toilet with Purefresh technology already integrated — a “complete toilet solution,” if you will.

As its name hints, the Purefresh Toilet Seat is all about scent — eliminating it, masking it, introducing a completely new odor that tricks your nose into thinking that you are somewhere else. Sit down, close your eyes, breath in and you and that three-week-old issue of US Weekly will be transported from the confines of your bathroom to a fragrant tropical paradise.

A bit on the technology behind Kohler's magically redolent toilet seat:

The moment a user (40 pounds or over) sits down on the commode to do his or her business, the Purefresh Toilet Seat springs into action: A built-in fan automatically kicks on, spritzing scented filtered air out of the seat itself. In addition to Garden Waterfall (“a fresh, fruity blend of peach, orange and apple accented with soft floral notes of orchid, jasmine and violet and a hint of vanilla"), Kohler offers two other “light, clean” scents: Avocado Spa or Soft and Fresh Laundry. An integrated carbon filter also helps, in the words of Kohler, “neutralize odorous air.”

To be clear, it is very much possible for the Purefresh Toilet Seat to function sans scent which is great for those interested in, umm, toilet innovation but would rather do without synthetic fragrance being discharged in very close proximity. In this case, the fan sends offending “toilet odor” through the deodorizing carbon filter but it doesn’t pass over the scent packs on its way back out the seat.

On the non-olfactory front, the seat also features a programmable eight-hour LED night-light.

And much like with the Touchless Flush Kit, it’s probably best to warn houseguests (particularly the elderly and/or the easily startled) to the presence of the Purefresh Toilet Seat before they decamp to the bathroom to do their business. Just a heads up Aunt Bernice, our toilet seat smells like dryer sheets. It’s not you.

While the thought of a deodorizing toilet seat that runs on a pair of (not included) D batteries may seem absurd, there is some smart thinking behind Kohler’s foray into the multi-billion dollar air care market. For one, it completely eliminates all that scented clutter that often populates bathrooms: the sprays, the diffusers, the plug-ins, the clip-ons, the scented candles, the potpourri, the designer Post-Poo Drops — all that crap that comes along with, pardon the colorful language, taking a crap.

However, an aromatic and clutter-free loo also requires a bit of upkeep and isn't necessarily cheaper than traditional air care products. The Purefresh Toilet Seat’s scent packs need to be swapped out every month on average (refill packs cost $9 a pop) while the carbon filters and batteries need to be changed every six months or so. The seat itself doesn’t need to be removed from the toilet for scent-related servicing — all the components are located within easy-to-access slide-out “accessory trays.”

Aimed to curb nose hair-singeing bathroom odors along with injuries occurred during trips to the john during the middle of the night, Kohler’s scented, lighted toilet seat starts at $117.

As for me, I’ve always relied on a small selection of restaurant-procured matchbooks, an open window and, in dire situations, a small scented soy candle.

I understand that some folks are positively militant about keeping air fresheners in the bathroom. But a $120 toilet seat with a built-in fan? Are you serious enough about deodorizing/masking the malodorous aftereffects of a trip to the bathroom that you’d fork out the cash for a battery-operated air freshener/night-light/air freshener combo?

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Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Battery-operated scented toilet seat is the ultimate in air freshener overkill
Kohler's fancy commode add-on offers users the disorienting sensation of using a bathroom that smells like a laundry room.