Early glass bud vase

Around the turn of the last century when automobiles were first marketed to wealthy customers, the expected elegance of the carriage was marred by both engine noise and exhaust. The need for some kind of air freshener generated a host of distinctive small vases mounted on the B/C door pillar or dash expressly to hold fragrant cut flowers. And thus the car bud vase was born.

The idea rapidly caught on, and even Henry Ford included a bud vase for his 1922 Detroit Electric car. Many automotive manufacturers followed the trend, including Volkswagen’s blumenvasen that was often attached to classic Beetles.

New Beetle bud vase

When the New Beetle arrived in 1998, VW designers incorporated a small vase tucked into the dash by an air vent (the vase was notably eliminated in all post-2010 Beetles). The vase can be an acquired taste for sure.

The Turbo S model has its own special bud vase graced with an aluminum top trim. Some put pens in the vase, but they tend to rattle around. Others remove the vase entirely in an attempt to downplay the feminine or cute design elements of the car (yes, women buyers outnumber men by about 2 to 1).

But if you decide to go with the flow, there many vase fillers available, from real cut flowers to … well, you get the idea.