Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Figs, wanted and unwanted

Another post reviewing the oddities of scent and mind.

There is an outfit by the name of Upper Canada soap company, and I am about to write about one and only one product of theirs, and I am not going to be happy about it.  Not because it did not perform as it should--it certainly did--nor because it did not smell as advertised.  That it did, too.

It's just that nobody warned me dish soap could smell like perfume.  That's right, folks; we're going on an inverse to the usual trope you'll find in perfume chat.  My issue was not that a perfume smelled like soap.  My issue was that a (dish) soap smelled like perfume.

Aldehydic perfume.

Perhaps you've not been here often, or perhaps I've somehow gently phrased and backed into my thoughts on aldehydes enough that it my come as some surprise to you that this should be an issue for me.  But trust me, I rarely like bubbles in my nose unless they are gen-you-wine bubbles from a semi-dry sparkling wine or in a perfectly drawn bath.  If I find the smell of perfume accosting me in my dish pan, tormenting me with every scrub of a pot, every swish of a dish, well...I am Not Happy.

Add in to that my vein of frugality that says "this stuff is working perfectly well and clearly does the job you asked it to do and nobody is really going to say thank you to a gift of used dish soap so you'd better suck it up and use the resource" and you end up with a rather displeased dishwasher.

Did I mention that the dish soap also performed so well the generous sized bottle lasted and lasted?  Thank you, Upper Canada, for manufacturing such an efficacious product.

(Thank you, wonderfully robust English language, for offering me an honest word of praise that allows me to say something so close to "effing" at the same time.  ALDEHYDES, I tell you!!!)

My bottle is finally, FINALLY, gone.

I have now moved on to Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day dish soap, Basil scent.  Riddle me this, Batman:  Why would a candy version of basil, something that I might find cloying in a perfume, please me so much in my kitchen sink?  Does it benefit from being held against the aldehydic terror perfumey fig that was the Upper Canada offering?

Am I okay with candy in the kitchen, but not perfume?  It is true; I never like to spray perfume in the kitchen, not even when I have my hot mitts (as in my eager hands, not my protective gear) on a fresh package from the mail that I know contains the latest something....

Sorry, Upper Canada.  I promise I will try another offering.  After all, I can see that on a value per penny basis, yours is a good choice.  I also see that no online source offers the fig scent, so maybe there's a reason I found my bottle at the closeout store.

Wash on.

Don't feel too sorry for me.  There is such a thing as a happy fig.

As it turns out, it's not a perfume, either.

images, including bite mark, author's own


Vanessa said...

Here we are again, divided by our common language! I got all the way to the end of this post before the penny dropped that dish soap is not soap in a dish that you keep by the sink to wash your hands with after performing kitchen chores, but the foaming agent with which you *wash your dishes*! Now I understand much better why you wouldn't want to perfume your dishes, for that way lies perfumed food! Not good. I am currently using a cheapie called Morning Fresh or something, which is overly scented, though not overtly perfumey. I will revert to Fairy Liquid in due course, but like you, I am averse to waste.

Ines said...

:D Ugh. I wouldn't want my dishes smelling of figgy, aldehydic perfume.
I'm with Vanessa on that one.
If a happy fig isn't a perfume, what is it? :) For me, it's definitely perfume.

Lucy said...

Have you tried Caldrea? I really like their astringency and scent. Perhaps next time?

The other thing you might like is if you have any essential oils around that are not too expensive, such as Black Spruce or Orange, put a couple drops into Joy, which sudses up more than any other, I find...

Josephine said...

Oh, LOL! My husband has purchased the newest Tide laundry soap 'even though it's more expensive,' he says. I hate the smell. It's like Shower to Shower bath powder on steroids. If it were actually a bath powder, it would be glorious, but as a laundry soap, it wafts up to my nose all day, clashes with my perfume and just pisses me off.

So I feel you.

Great post!

ScentScelf said...

Vanessa, LOaughL! 'Tis true!! Here I am, with wind chills and blizzards sending me scuttling for boots...but if I were to tell you that, you might wonder if I was doing something having to do with coal and a trunk. Which to me would then have me pondering shipping heating fuel.

Ay yi yi. :)

In general, I am a fan of plain old Dove, for reasons I shall discuss with Lucy below. But no, not only do I not want my dishes to smell like perfume, I simply do not enjoy most aldehydic perfumes. Potential headache triggers.

Kind of like certain house chores.

ScentScelf said...


So, we could be roommates content with an easy division of fig happiness. You take the perfume...I'll take the truffle stuffed dark chocolate enrobed ones. ;)

ScentScelf said...


I *have* tried Caldrea! In fact, I remember happily discovering them years ago...then fearing they had simply disappeared, because they were hard to source anywhere but mail order...and now they show up at of all places, Target. (Pronounced, of course, tar-jhay.)

I said "Dove" above to Vanessa, but I think it is Ivory, old fashioned, that I like to pick up for cheap, functional, unscented dishwashing detergent. (Hmmm, does "dishwashing detergent" go straight to the point in Britain??) I keep lemongrass, rosemary and lavender essential oils in the flippy dippy drawer for the very purpose you mention. To be used alone or maybe in some combination. I shall look up Black Spruce...sounds interesting...and have some Neroli. Thanks for the suggestions! :)

ScentScelf said...

Ha! The considerate spouse!! I love that--I bought it even though it was more expensive--that's sweet. What a fun expression of love via a mundane task. :)

Sorry to hear that the well intention plan went astray. You don't like the smell? Oh, dear. Hmmm...can you donate it to...but here we go again...

Hmmm. Do I see an unfortunate "ack! the cap came completely off and the cat knocked it over in the sink and it all ran out before I noticed it" experience in your future???

Marina said...

Aldehydic dish soap? Maybe that's what will make me wash dishes ...where do I buy? :)

ScentScelf said...

Ah, Marina. Now I know who I can foist the aldehydic terror, erm, gift the aldehydic triumph unto. Should there ever be a next time.


Joan said...

Serge Lutens' Arabie is an amazing fig.

Kim said...

I love 'bite mark authors own'

figs with cheese or in Diptyque perfumes- or enrobed in chocolate (because I like most things enrobed in chocolate)

ScentScelf said...

Joan, I'm going to try Arabie. I'm thinking if it is Lutens, we are more likely to end up with syrup than aldehydes, right?

ScentScelf said...



Oh, figs with cheese; yesssss.... (Imagination drifts to happy time outside with morsels in warm weather. A nice place to meander when the real temperature is 21ºF.)