A world of scents

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Nothing smells natural anymore.

Almost every household product contains an added scent or fragrance. I realized that this week when I was spraying a room deodorizer in my bathroom. The scent was French vanilla, but I could have bought any number of scents, ranging from lemon to lilac to lavender.

Smells and scents influence all aspects of life, including food, hygiene and clothing. Scents affect our moods, too. We can actually change the atmosphere of our homes with scents. We do it with potpourri and sprays, deodorizers and candles.

Candles come in a wide variety of scents. There's bayberry, peppermint, cinnamon, peach, vanilla, caramel creme and dozens of others. I have a candle that smells like cookies and another that smells like apple pie. One homemade candle smells like mango papaya and another like poundcake.

I recently bought a flameless candle. It flickers and glows like a real candle. It has no flame, no drip or mess. I like that part of it, but the fresh-cut bamboo scent isn't to my liking. One of my favorites is a package of assorted Aromatique called Sorbet. It is made in Heber Springs.

Lotions and handsoaps are scented to suit both the male and female. Powders, too, are scented. There's one body powder on the market that always reminds me of a newborn baby. Last week I bought a package of pine cones that smell of cinnamon. At times the aroma is overpowering. That can be counteracted with a super room neutralizer that has its own fresh scent.

Fragrances are added to hundreds of perfumes and colognes too.

Ladies magazines include perfume samples in advertisements. Just peel back a paper strip and the aroma is released. A recent Redbook magazine features cologne strips with scents by Faith Hill and Tim McGraw.

Makeup also has a potpourri of scents. My Olay facial foaming cleanser has a wonderful refreshing odor.

Our bedsheets and pillowcases smell like a pine forest, mountain rain, a fresh breeze, or clean streams. Scents are added to furniture polish, toothpaste, hairsprays, toilet bowl cleaners, deodorants and dishwashing detergents. My Palmolive detergent smells like apple blossoms, and my bleach is scented with citrus fusion, whatever that is.

While our homes are filled with good-smelling products, there are some products that remove unpleasant odors.

There's a fabric odor remover that refreshes and removes unwanted smells in fabrics. There are products to remove smelly foot odors. There's also a cologne for dogs to conceal that offensive "wet dog" smell.

I've read that among the odors currently in development are an Honest Odor for car lot salesmen, and a smell that would attract people to gambling machines. (I also know you can't believe everything you read.)

Last Thursday I went to a big fish fry. The smell of frying fish permeated every corner of the building. I wondered if there's anything on the market that could get rid of the smell of fish frying in an iron skillet.

I think not.

Anyway, who would want to?

Maybe developers will come up with a candle or a deodorizer that smells like fish and hushpuppies.

Surely there would be a market for that.

As far as scents go, to each his own.