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{04/02/2013}   Air fresheners

I hate air fresheners.  I am always suspicious that when an air freshener has been used it is masking something foul, which if you sniff you can usually confirm.  I don’t like the artificial smells, they usually make me sneeze and they seem to confuse my senses.  I don’t like eating food in places where there is, for example, incense as it confuses my smell and taste.  However, I did buy myself some rather lovely tea and bergamot stick air freshener things today for my bathroom.

I recently went into someone’s toilet and I realised I liked the fact it had a nice smell, though it was a little too sweet, I felt, for a toilet.  I looked to see what it was and it was one of those fancy plug-in air fresheners.  I felt this was a step too far for me and my delicate nose but I was determined to find something that would leave a subtle aroma of loveliness in my bathroom.  I spent c35 minutes in the room-smellies section of John Lewis yesterday.  I had a good whiff of what seemed like every reed diffuser scent, having decided that reed infusers are the most likely scent-emitting product I could cope with.  It wasn’t going well.  I don’t like sweet swells and I don’t like anything too musty – this is probably why I don’t like virtually all perfume smells – so it took a while.  In the end, I opted for the tea and bergamot reed diffuser set.  It is doing the job already but I fear it may annoy me that my bathroom will now always smell like that.

I have long disliked air fresheners, though admittedly I’m thinking more of the hideous spray ones, of the kind I still encounter in hotels occasionally.  I had a hair sample allergy test once and the main things that came back that I was intolerant too were smelly things, including perfumes and cigarette smoke.  I thought about it and realised that smelling such things usually sends me off on a mini sneezing episode.  I stayed in a dreadful hotel in Liverpool once and it was either their decrepit heating system or the awful air freshener that my room was doused in every day that gave me nightly nose bleeds.  I don’t usually get nose bleeds so it was all a bit traumatic.

Some people use air fresheners to mask smells (pets, food, toilet smells), some use them because they think it makes their homes smell better.  I do occasionally use incense and scented candles, though just to give off a nice smell rather than to conceal something horrible.  But I am sort of pleased with my tea-smelling bathroom, I feel it creates a welcoming air.

I can’t believe I’m writing about air fresheners!  Another thing about them is that those fancy plug-in ones are staggeringly expensive for what they are.  I saw one in a supermarket the other day for £20 and there was nothing “Sea breeze” about the smell.  I worked in an office once that squirted stinky air “freshener” every 15 minutes or so.  The noise, followed by the overpowering artificial smell was a great source of annoyance and discomfort.  It even seemed to permeate my hair.  Ugh, horrible things.

But at least I have a nicely aromatic bathroom now and it does actually smell of what it says on the box – and so it should, it cost far too much; I was lured by the “natural” boasts on the packaging!  The only problem is that I got up this morning, walked into my hall and to the bathroom and thought, “Ugh, what’s that awful smell”, and realised it was my expensive air polluter.

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