In primary school, I was the weird kid, hunched over my desk, sniffing my scented markers. Grape was my favorite.
Over the years not much has changed, and now I get caught sniffing the dry erase makers at work. It is like a reflex and if you watch carefully, you will see others do it automatically too. Lid comes off marker, arm brings marker to nose.
We can have strong emotional associations with certain scents and our brains and noses are in cahoots. Partners in crime. Really smart companies will manipulate us with our own noses. I have not verified this, but a friend once told me that a famous theme park pipes hunger inducing smells into the park to increase kiosk sales of snacks like cookies, popcorn and cotton candy.
Over the years my sniffer has cost me thousands. Tens of thousands. Controlling this bad boy nose of mine has become a mission and it is not always easy.
I love perfume.
Luckily for me, my workplace has gone scent-free and this has helped curb this habit tremendously. Perfume has one of the highest retail mark-ups and the actual liquid in the bottle only costs pennies to produce but mucho $$$ to buy. The perfume company has other overhead costs to pay for but the liquid itself is often the least expensive component. There was a time when I toyed with the idea of getting into the perfume business because it can be so lucrative. My perfume days are over but when I get a craving, I will head to a nearby perfume counter and douse myself from a sample bottle.
I have parted with a good chunk of cash trying to make my house smell like a field of lavender, or an April spring, or clean linen. God knows what I have done to the air quality of this house. Sprays, candles, potpourri and then there are always these plugin things…
Yep these are mine. Hoard much?
To break this habit, I now put some vanilla and cinnamon in a pot on the stove and warm it up. It makes the house smell like Cinnabon and it is probably less toxic.
Cleaners and Detergents
I am a sucker for cleaners and cleaning products. It took many years but I finally realized that acquiring more and new an improved cleaners does not magically make your house clean. The act of cleaning makes your house clean. I have cut back significantly on cleaning products but it is still a weakness I need to keep under control. I have cleaners in the cupboard that are older than my kids and some days you could stop by and my house might have a distinctive bleach-like smell.
Detergents, fabric softener, dryer sheets are another weakness. I do use homemade laundry detergent on occasion with a vinegar rinse but my heart breaks a little because the clothes are fresh but not perfumed. I have a mental battle with myself in the laundry isle of the grocery store to stop myself from buying those expensive laundry beads. It can be an intense battle.
Soap, shampoo, body wash, deodorants, moisturizer, body sprays, balms, lotions, potions, powders. There is no end to the stinky stuff I pour on myself. I became painfully aware of the fact when my workplace went scent-free and the scented versions of these products were banned. Prohibited.
And in case you are wondering, yes, the ban is enforced. I still use some scented products (i.e. deodorant) but so far I have been able to fly under the radar. The people who walk around in a stink cloud of perfume or aftershave however get called out. Even with my love of all things flowery, I think it is a good thing.
Now if they could just get people to stop heating up fish in the lunch room microwave.
So, yes, I have been robbed blind by my nose. I am on to it now, and trying to be a conscious consumer and stop the stinky insanity. Now if only I can resist the mother of all temptations…
That New Car Smell!