In between packing books this evening, I’ve been keeping an eye on my guilty pleasure a.k.a. HGTV (Home and Garden TV.) Between the engaging 30 minute makeovers are a range of home adverts which, this evening, seem to be dominated by a bad smell. Folks, I have to ask: what on earth is this US obsession with fake scents?

The options to assault your airways with all manner of fabricated odors is almost unlimited. I humbly submit the folowing evidence:
* A scented candle craze that ranges from Yankee Candle to uber-expensive designer candles priced in the hundreds of dollars for a single average-sized pillar candle.
* Aerosol scent dispensers that mask smells by spritzing out “nature-like” smells or, even curiouser, eliminating all odors.
* Linen scents that you can dispense by adding balls or sheets to your laundry during drying, and layer it on afterwards with linen spray.
* Oils and fluids that evaporate and carry their nuggets of nose-titillation throughout the immediate environment.
* And finally, power-operated scent dispensers that include fans, heaters, lights, and now, up to three different scent cycles so you can switch from one fake scent to another every 45 minutes.

How about ye good olde fashioned way — opening the windows, bringing in a bouquet of fresh flowers or a wreath of herbs and lavender? I hope informed consumers are considering the additional air pollutants they’re snorting and making the connection between this and the asthma epidemic. FYI, typical ingredients of most of the abovementioned options are formaldehyde, petroleum distillates, p- dichlorobenzene, and aerosol propellants. I think that stinks.

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