What’s That Smell?


Recently I was a victim of olfactory assault while grocery shopping.  I don’t have any allergies or sensitivities to perfumes or chemicals, but something in this woman’s perfume was sending me reeling!  I quickly put my hand over my nose and mouth and made a bee-line for the cool comfort of the dairy section.  Rarely do I have such a strong gag reflex to scent; but this was a doozy.  Which then got me thinking, what would life be like with a scent allergy?

I hopped online, as any inquisitive person would, and did a little research.  There are blogs and blogs and websites devoted to this very topic.  Huh, I was just drifting along in my little sweetly-scented world and these people are really suffering.  Then I remembered back to a conversation I had with one of our Fresh Air Lodging members, Solglimt Bed and Breakfast.  They are a scent-free B & B.  No foo-foo, candles, electric misters, etc, just fresh and clean.  And this is done for a reason; clearly, they are a haven for scent sufferers.

With thousands of different fragrances in the world, many have found their way into our cleaning and laundry products.  Since what is wonderful to some may be migraine-inducing or worse to another, many hotels are taking steps to eliminate those heavily scented products, replacing them with a more natural, but still equally effective cleaner as Solglimt has.  The only mild ‘artificial’ smell you’ll detect there is the peppermint oil they use for the floors.  Sounds pretty soothing!

I did a little more poking around and found some ideas if you are interested in taking steps toward greening your cleaning at home or at your office.

  • Instead of using paper towels for wiping up spills or dusting, use a reusable washable microfiber cloth.
  • When using spray bottles opt for non-aerosol whenever possible and spray it on the cloth instead of the surface to be cleaned.  You’ll use less this way.
  • If you have the option to collect rain water, do it!  It’s great for watering gardens and houseplants—and plants are great for healthy indoor air.
  • In the kitchen, stick to traditional mops instead of disposable single-use cloths, thus reducing waste.

Now, I don’t think I personally am ready to jettison all the fragrance from my house.  I love the way my laundry smells; and few things make me feel as good as the lingering scent of lemon Pine-Sol after scrubbing the floors.  But then no one in my house has a sensitive snout.  And if I have a guest heading north who can’t tolerate lemony freshness…well, I guess I’ll send them to Solglimt.


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