Shopping for Scents by Mask

The importance of examining the label but even more so, the ingredients list

A disadvantage of wearing a mask is that you really can’t “sniff” the perfume, air freshener, candle, soap, or any other scented thing in the shops nowadays. How can you tell the scent is good or not? Read the label?

No, actually. The label will mislead you.

The other day I was at our local Sprouts grocery store.  I thought I would try a “natural” deodorant. So I looked at the labels and recognized a brand I believed at some point to be good quality. The label looked like it would be a good scent. I mean, I happen to like the scent of roses, and “delicate soft rose” sounded like it was right up my alley.

I did not feel comfortable lifting up my mask in the store to sniff all the stuff. So I bought by sight.

Purchased the bottle. Came home. Tried the substance on.

Horrible, horrible.

Talk about misleading marketing. The scent was overwhelmingly chemical and reminded me of some sort of bug killer.

That’s because, low and behold, there is a bug repellant in this spray. At least in principle.

Citrenellol. Pretty much Citronella. You can’t smell anything BUT the Citronella. There are lots of other citrus scents in here too. Not sure who came up with the lovely, highly marketable description of ‘delicate soft rose’ but the idea was brilliant, even though I was the one caught in the ruse.

This was definitely a lesson I will remember. If it says citronellol in the list, don’t buy it. Unless I’m going camping where lots of mosquitos live.

Last time I checked, mosquitos don’t like Citronella. But neither do many of us humans. But now I do have a pretty pink-lidded bottle of bug spray.

Look out mosquitos, the ‘delicate soft rose’ stuff is coming to get you!

NOTE: not that it matters on the grand scale, but citronellol and citronella are apparently two different things that smell bad. One is from a geranium and “rose-scented”. The other is from a lemon grass and is what the mosquitos don’t like.

Meanwhile, I had to go back to the stuff I already know, the stuff I bought before the pandemic. The stuff that smells ok. Not super, but meh. Still far better than this new stinky stuff.

I can’t wait to go to the store someday and sniff things without a mask. But if that day never comes, at least I’ll know to look for suspicious ingredients. And I won’t buy it if it has citronellol in it. Because I’ll probably still have this bottle. A memento and a reminder not to buy without a sniff.

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