Day 25: What is that smell?

And here I thought I didn’t have anything to write about today.

In the midst of a very hard, tragic and thought-provoking week for everyone across America, today I lament something mundane.

Here goes.

Last night, my landlord¬†installed a holiday plug-in air freshener in the laundry room. I found it this morning. It’s full of shiny red liquid and smells like some kind of powerful cinnamon toxin that could crawl up your nose and maniacally domesticate your brain.

It’s pretty smelly.

Why are we (the giant society “we”) so against smelling the actual smells of our environments? What are we afraid of? Especially in the laundry room, where things are clean and fluffy? I realize many people use perfumed and dyed detergents, but most of my neighbors use the au-natural stuff and the room smells delightful! I’d much rather know if my space is dirty than mask it with a smell that reeks (literally) of chemical intervention.

Perhaps you’re thinking, “Listen. I have three cats and a stinky kid. I need my air fresheners.” I understand. I really do. But how grossed out are you by the Febreze commercials where people unknowingly sit in filth and smell scents like “lilac, “citrus” and “wispy white curtains?” (Also… What?) Unsuspecting people wearing blindfolds bury their noses in dirty couch cushions and are pleased to smell Febreze. The whole thing feels terribly wrong.

That said, at least Febreze is being honest about what they offer. They’re basically saying, “Don’t worry if your home is disgusting. Just spray our product and blindfold your guests. They’ll think they’re sitting in a botanical garden and you’ll be the best host ever.”

Sigh. One day, my heroic effort to unplug every air freshener in the building will pay off.