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Everyday Cheapskate: How to Leave a Fragrance, Not an Odor

Mary Hunt on

I have something very cool to share with you today. But first, a story about my friend Herta. It's been quite a few years since she and Al came to visit.

In their graciously kind manner, they brought gifts. I thought I'd heard of everything, but one of these gifts left me wide-eyed and sputtering to find a good response, which I am not sure I did.

I concluded that the small, supremely elegant spray bottle Herta was visibly so excited about must be something special in their country -- to me it was oddly foreign.

The name on the bottle left me stuttering: Poo-Pourri Before-You-Go Toilet Spray. Herta took me into the powder room to demonstrate. "Look, you just spritz the surface of the toilet water before you go," she said. "It stops bathroom odors before they ever begin!" Herta was so excited to show me this fabulous new product. Me? I was like ... whaaat?

I have to admit that I couldn't wait to try it, and I did. You know what? It really worked. The product is oily. When you spray Poo-Pourri into the toilet (before ... not during or after), it sits on the surface of the water and creates a kind of sealant against, well ... let's just say it: fumes. It traps the odors, sending them down the drain, not out into the room. Get it?

I'm not sure if Herta was the first to introduce Poo-Pourri to America or not, but I like to think so. What I know is that it's here now and it has become quite popular.

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I see Poo-Pourri in the finest powder rooms (my friends know who they are). Not long ago, I noticed a discreet supply of Poo-Pourri in the ladies' room at church.

The car wash has this clever product on prominent display in the waiting area, right next to the funniest greeting cards. Herta would be so pleased.

I do wonder about a couple of things: First, who came up with this? The idea itself is great, but the person who came up with the name? Brilliant!

Second, why is it so expensive? At $5 for 1 ounce, that works out to $640 per gallon. Don't laugh. I think about these things, and I'm sure there are households, gas stations, dormitories and frat houses -- to name just a few -- that could use it by the gallon.


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