Scent Pollution

One unexpected advantages so far of not  having cable TV is that I no longer need to argue with the commercials.

Candles. Dish soap. Body wash. Laundry detergent. Fabric softener. Deodorant. Hand lotion. Feminine hygiene products. Shampoo. Mouthwash. Toothpaste. Wood polishers and other cleaning products. Disposable dusting clothes. Everything is scented these days.

If I want the scent of fresh lemons in the kitchen, I will buy some fresh lemons to cut, peel or juice in there. If I want a living room to smell like flowers, I’ll….go admire the fresh bouquets at someone else’s house.  If I want to bask in the scent of  fresh laundry, I’ll head over to the laundromat and wash some of our clothing. (What does fresh smell like, anyway?)

Part of the problems is, I think, that marketers believe that clean has a scent. It doesn’t or at least not the scent of rainwater, fruit, flowers, sunshine or oxygen. Clean dishes/clothes/houses smell like nothing at all. That’s why we wash them. Clean people soon develop a faint aroma unique to their own body chemistry, but that’s nothing to be worried about. Making you smell like you is exactly what your body is supposed to be doing!

On the rare occasion now that I catch advertisements for scented things the entire scented-life-stuff industry seems even more ridiculous than it was before. Especially when one considers that scents mix. It isn’t just one scented product, after all, it’s layer upon layer of them- a noxious mixture of hairspray, cologne/perfume, body wash, mouthwash and shampoo on each person in the room, plus  the aroma of any scented candles/wall-plug-ins as well as a faint whiff of any strongly scented cleaning products that have been used in that area recently-  that were never intended to be inhaled at the same time. Because of this they clash. Sometimes horribly.

I have no love for any of it. Which is why I reserve the right to argue with the faulty logic of commercials who try to convince us that adding extra scents to products that don’t need to be scented to work properly is a good idea by any stretch of the imagination.

16 Responses to Scent Pollution

  1. We use UNscented laundry detergent. Cole remarked that his cousins laundry always smells so NICE! When I have been to their house when she’s doing laundry its’ almost more than I can stand! It’s a VERY strong smell whether it’s the detergent or a combo of that and fabric softener! I am totally in agreement about scents. It used to be all women wore a ‘scent’. I’m glad that it is a rare occurance now.
    Here is one of my ‘frugal’ tips. Did you know that fabric softener sheets have enough on them to be used in 2 or 3 loads? When I run out of them, I place the sheets in piles, and cut through them with a scissors and make THREE sets of sheets. It is plenty to use only one third of a sheet per load!

  2. We use UNscented laundry detergent. Cole remarked that his cousins laundry always smells so NICE! When I have been to their house when she’s doing laundry its’ almost more than I can stand! It’s a VERY strong smell whether it’s the detergent or a combo of that and fabric softener! I am totally in agreement about scents. It used to be all women wore a ‘scent’. I’m glad that it is a rare occurance now.
    Here is one of my ‘frugal’ tips. Did you know that fabric softener sheets have enough on them to be used in 2 or 3 loads? When I run out of them, I place the sheets in piles, and cut through them with a scissors and make THREE sets of sheets. It is plenty to use only one third of a sheet per load!

  3. That’s funny, I’ve always just assumed that fabric softener sheets were all scented so I never used them. Do you find that they make a big difference?

  4. That’s funny, I’ve always just assumed that fabric softener sheets were all scented so I never used them. Do you find that they make a big difference?

  5. haha! I never thought of it before. I make my own laundry detergent and cleaning fluid, so it’s not scented. But I do like scented candles because I’ve always lived in apartments that smell like fresh paint/carpet + the cleaning supplies of the apartment cleaning after the last tenant moved out + the smells of the last people who lived there. It would go away on its own after awhile, but lighting a cinnamon or “fresh!” candle just makes it smell like home faster. Also, in smaller apartments, anything that smells bad will make the whole place smell bad FAST. If you cooked something smelly or if there’s a rotten potato in the garbage, it will make the whole place stink for hours unless you light a candle. And it takes awhile for your own scents to permeate. At my last apartment, it took about 6 months, and I didn’t use them quite so often: maybe if company was coming or I came home and smelled the garbage. But I am mostly a big fan of opening the windows and letting REAL fresh air in the house! Unfortunately, I live in Arkansas, so there is only about a cumulative month or two where that is practical. Oh, well! 🙂

  6. haha! I never thought of it before. I make my own laundry detergent and cleaning fluid, so it’s not scented. But I do like scented candles because I’ve always lived in apartments that smell like fresh paint/carpet + the cleaning supplies of the apartment cleaning after the last tenant moved out + the smells of the last people who lived there. It would go away on its own after awhile, but lighting a cinnamon or “fresh!” candle just makes it smell like home faster. Also, in smaller apartments, anything that smells bad will make the whole place smell bad FAST. If you cooked something smelly or if there’s a rotten potato in the garbage, it will make the whole place stink for hours unless you light a candle. And it takes awhile for your own scents to permeate. At my last apartment, it took about 6 months, and I didn’t use them quite so often: maybe if company was coming or I came home and smelled the garbage. But I am mostly a big fan of opening the windows and letting REAL fresh air in the house! Unfortunately, I live in Arkansas, so there is only about a cumulative month or two where that is practical. Oh, well! 🙂

  7. Teresa – there are now companies with policies that say you can’t wear scents while at work, because it bothers too many people with allergies. and because it is now considered unprofessional to have any strong scents on one’s body.

    Laura – We are living in a 800 or so square foot apt, and I find that I take the trash out in small quantities every day or two at the most. I don’t think it’s the smell that I notice, but I like to get it out of here, more than when I lived in a house. Maybe I am afraid of getting bugs, with all the neighbors who share the building? Maybe there is a sub-conscious odor which is more bothersome in this smaller space? I don’t know what it is, but I do see a difference in my actions.

    Lydia – I also assumed that all dryer softener sheets had scents. Now I have to think about whether that’s true …

  8. Teresa – there are now companies with policies that say you can’t wear scents while at work, because it bothers too many people with allergies. and because it is now considered unprofessional to have any strong scents on one’s body.

    Laura – We are living in a 800 or so square foot apt, and I find that I take the trash out in small quantities every day or two at the most. I don’t think it’s the smell that I notice, but I like to get it out of here, more than when I lived in a house. Maybe I am afraid of getting bugs, with all the neighbors who share the building? Maybe there is a sub-conscious odor which is more bothersome in this smaller space? I don’t know what it is, but I do see a difference in my actions.

    Lydia – I also assumed that all dryer softener sheets had scents. Now I have to think about whether that’s true …

  9. Interesting. I’ve never had much of a problem with visiting odours in my apartments. Noise is a different matter. I’d light a hundred candles if they could turn down the sound of thumping speakers, crying children, or late-night arguments!

    I definitely agree with you about fresh air, though. 🙂

  10. Interesting. I’ve never had much of a problem with visiting odours in my apartments. Noise is a different matter. I’d light a hundred candles if they could turn down the sound of thumping speakers, crying children, or late-night arguments!

    I definitely agree with you about fresh air, though. 🙂

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