My Nose has Robbed Me Blind

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.

Household Deodorizers

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…

plugin household deodorizers

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.



Personal Hygiene

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!



Fun Money Mom


  1. LOL…You can’t do away with the new car smell! That one is the best! Thanks so much for sharing your post at Share The Wealth Sunday this week!!!


    1. Thanks Lisa. I will try to make it a habit. Appreciate you stopping by.


  2. Great post! Those basic instincts like scent really do cause us to make all sorts of irrational decisions. My wife is completely addicted to the Yankee Candle car fresheners, while her mother is addicted to the candles themselves. As for me, I see the price tags and I need smelling salts! But I like the idea of putting the vanilla and cinnamon in a pot on the stove. We’ll have to give that a try.
    Gary @ Super Saving Tips recently posted…Common Retail Myths ExposedMy Profile


    1. ha ha smelling salts! That’s a good one – wish I had thought of that. It would have made a great tag line. My readers are more creative than I am…


  3. That’s a hilarious post! When I had small apt and was still solo I could keep the whole thing smelling like fresh linen with one of those plugins. After college, we quit using them, it seemed expensive to keep a whole house “smelling nice.” I’ll have to try the vanilla and cinnamon trick around the holidays though, that sounds great. I wish our company would enact a ban so some of those stink cloud of “whatever they think smells great” folks would get it under control. Reminds me of my dad. That guy would shower in bad cologne before going anywhere, and man it was overpowering. On the flip side, now that he’s gone, when someone walks past wearing whatever his brand was it instantly brings back those memories. 🙂
    Mr. SSC recently posted…August 2015 Budget Update and More!My Profile


    1. Yes I don’t miss the stink clouds. People walking around leaving a trail like pepe le pew. lol. You are right about the memories. Sometimes at the perfume counter I will spray something that will bring back strong memories.


  4. You are so funny, May! 😀 My house is the opposite of yours. Everything I use is as fragrance-free as possible. It’s not that I don’t like fragrance. I even like the smell of bleach. It’s just that they makes me sneeze and wheeze. Not a good combination. I grew up in a house where my mom bleached everything, my dad smoked cigars and pipes (UGH!), and my mom loved air fresheners and scented everything. I was a mess. I magically healed after moving out. Go figure! 😛 Thanks for the fun read and I hope you get to indulge in your love of scents forevermore. However, I do think you may want to ease up on those markers a bit! 🙂


    1. It will be interesting to see if anything changes as I move away from scented products. I can imagine the chemicals floating around in the air…


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