Bonus Scents

I was in the shower recently when I got to thinking (as one does) about the stuff I buy and use around the house because it works really well and – bonus—smells great too!  In no particular order, and please feel free to share yours in comments:

    J. R. Watkins Lemon hand cream – I bought it in a moment of dry-hand desperation because it was sitting on the shelf at CVS and I figured if nothing else it’d look cute on my bathroom sink.  It’s super-moisturizing, inexpensive, has great online reviews and smells like lemon cream pie without being cloying. Several drugstores stock it, or find it online.

Acure Curiously Clarifying Lemongrass shampoo – I’m a longtime Deva girl, but this is also a wonderful-smelling and less expensive alternative (sulfate-,silicone- and paraben-free) and unlike 99.5% of the other products I’ve bought that say “lemongrass” but just smell like plain ol’ lemons, this actually smells delightfully like lemongrass.  Seriously, it brings a smile to my face every time I use it.  They make matching conditioner which is not as ultra-moisturizing as I need for my parched gray hair but it would be perfect for someone who wants a lighter condition. The only place I’ve ever found it is online (Vitacost, etc.). 

Joico Color Endure Violet Shampoo– this is one of those purple shampoos for the silver foxes, to keep your hair from getting brassy. (No sulfates, ‘cones, parabens.) I bought it on a whim at Ulta when I realized how extremely tinted it is, and I use it every couple of weeks. (Be careful not to spill it or leave it on your towels, like a lot of blue shampoos it stains.) Bonus: it smells vaguely like the old-school Jergens cherry-almond lotion.  Speaking of which: 

Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap in Almond – I use this as my general hand/dish/body/dog-washing and household liquid soap.  I know the Peppermint has a cult following, but I find it a bit too bracing, and the almond is heaven. Frankly I’m a bit shocked and embarrassed that I didn’t realize almond was an option until fairly recently.  You can find it at all sorts of places including: Whole Foods, Target, online. 

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day laundry detergent in Lemon Verbena – I’m a sucker for the Mrs. Meyer’s line.  I don’t know who she is (probably the figment of some focus group’s imagination, don’t spoil it for me) but she knows how to make home/laundry products that smell nice and aren’t all up in your grill with the Fresh Laundry Musk, part of that headache-inducing miasma hanging over the cleaning-products aisle in the grocery store.  Anyhoo, not gonna lie, I specifically bought this FOR the scent, and it also works really well.  It seems pricier than some, but a little goes a loooong way, and I always add some borax and/or vinegar to my wash for extra brightening.  My laundry comes out of the wash (and the dryer!) and into my bureau smelling deliciously but faintly of lemon verbena.  I don’t use any of her other lemon verbena cleaning line because I’m weird and I like to associate that particular scent with my laundry, but I think there’s kitchen soap, spray cleaner etc. Find it at: World Market, Target, online. 

Your turn!  What do you use that works well and smells great? 

  • Ann says:

    Great post, dear March!! I’ll second the Bliss lemon and basil products and also the Lush Rose Jam (although that one does wear a bit on me after a while). DH has heavy salt and pepper hair, but when he does finally go all-out silver fox that Joico will be on our must-try list. Hope you and all the kiddos are doing well!!

  • Debby Hanssen says:

    I’m loving my Method Lime and Sea Salt all-purpose cleaner and my Everyone Citrus + Mint soap/shampoo in the big pump bottle.

  • MikasMinion says:

    Almost forgot my favorite inexpensive body wash. le petit marseillais body wash in Nectarine Hazelnut. Yummy, cheap, and easy to find and the scent doesn’t clash with whatever perfume I wear later.

  • MikasMinion says:

    Williams Sonoma gardenia dish soap since my two favorite Caldrea scents were d/c. I don’t know what they put in the affordable, grocery store dish soaps but the smell lingers on everything and makes me gaggy. The Mrs. Meyers basil is okay in a pinch.
    Can’t use scented stuff on laundry or floors ’cause of super-allergy cat (she has her dishes washed with plain Castile soap – the little princess) so I go a little nuts with the other things. Caldrea concentrates are great in a bucket of hot water for washing the truck. I have a couple gallons of the Rosewater Driftwood Scent stashed in the hall closet.

  • hczerwiec says:

    ^The lemon and basil scent sounds gorgeous! I’ll have to seek it out. I also like the Watkins line, but I’m a sucker for Method’s Pamplemousse scent in their all-purpose cleaner — I actually don’t mind cleaning the bathroom so much when it ends up smelling like that!

  • maggiecat says:

    For all of you lemon and lemon verbena fans out there – Bliss has had a Lemon and Basil line of body scrub, body butter, hand cream, etc. out for a long time. I discovered and fell in love with it this summer – it goes nicely with my Fragonard Verveine perfume, which I love, and it’s fresh and uplifting on its own too. Besides, it moisturizers my dry skin exceptionally well. This bright and beautiful scent would be great year round, and I already have a backup of the body butter.

  • Dina C. says:

    I also love the Mrs. Meyer line in Geranium for all my kitchen cleaning items: dish soap, counter spray, air freshener and hand soap. The Geranium scent has a peppery kick that I love. Also love the Lush Rose Jam shower gel like so many others. I’ve been using the Schwarzkopf Bonacure Color Freeze purple shampoo for my silver hair. It smells nice, but I wouldn’t buy it just for the scent. However, Jessicurl’s Spiralicious Gel has a great lavender citrus scent.

  • VerbenaLuvvr says:

    I’ve seen the Watkins line at the Cracker Barrel store and will have to try out the lemon. I do really like the Dionis hand cream also carried there and currently have it in sugar cookie scent,

  • Musette says:

    Holy snakes and cabbage! I’m coming to ALL of your houses! lol! I use …what? Well, I use a lot of vinegar (because of the dog) and Clorox (because of the dog and El O). I damp mop my painted wood floors at least every other day – use Dr Bronner’s peppermint (just a drop) and follow with a damp rinse with cool water and a drop of some essential oil, depending upon my nerves.

    Ajax orange dish soap because I’m cheap, it cleans the dishes and smells vaguely like oranges. Real orange rinds in the garbage disposal.

    ALL of those beauty doohickeys sound DEEEVINE! I have been using Olay bar in the shower and omg – you can smell it for hours! Not bad – just ‘soapy’, y’know?


  • Tara C says:

    I’ve been using Lush Daddy-O purple shampoo for my silver fox hair, but it has sulfates in it. Is the Joico very drying? I found the Aveda version too drying. My biggest complaint is shampoos that strip the hair and scalp, which puts my oil glands into overdrive and then I have flat greasy hair within 36 hours. Looking for any hot tips. Pureology didn’t work for me.

    • March says:

      Definitely try the Joico. The Aveda is super-drying; so is the Shikai. Both left my hair feeling snarled and stripped. The Aveda doesn’t leave my hair feeling stripped at all, although I still use a conditioner after.

      • Taxi says:

        I too like Joico’s violet shampoo. Jhirmack is terrible for me as the run-off from rinsing in the shower burns my body skin badly. I’m miserable for 30-45 minutes. (I’m using the rest of the Jhirmack as toilet cleaner.)

  • Bee says:

    Oh yes! Rose Jam is fantastic

  • SamanthaL says:

    Radish is lovely…I use the dish soap. And Method Eucalyptus Mint in my shower and bathroom…it smells so good!! I use Lush Rose Jam for whole bathroom smells of it when I walk in and I can definitely think of worse ways for the bathroom to smell!!

  • Kathleen says:

    I’m a fan of Mrs. Meyers cleaning products as well. Lavender is my favorite, which smells more beautiful than any lavender ought to. And I love that they are natural and not burn-your-nose toxic chemicals like many cleaners are. For body wash I love Jason’s, available at most retail or grocery store. The scents are surprisingly gorgeous and it is very gentle on skin.

  • MMKinPA says:

    Mrs Meyers dish soaps in all sorts of fun scents (right now I have Apple Cider). I have a backlog of Yves Rocher shower gels – they have lots of good scents – they don’t linger on the skin but it’s a nice boost in the morning – my current one is coconut.

    • March says:

      Oooooh, now you’ve got me in trouble. I googled and I didn’t realize they had scents beyond the usual ones I see on the shelves…. I want to try Radish!

      • AnnJune says:

        Oh do! Radish is one of my favorites, as is Geranium. Also second the seasonal Apple Cider.

  • Bee says:

    After about 100 years years of just yellow (watery lemon) or green (smelled of plastic) washing up liquid in the UK we finally got something orange which actually smells of oranges and it’s a revelation. Fairy Citrus Grove – and doing the dishes is now a pleasure.

    • March says:

      Question — is “fairy liquid” a brand, or a generic way of saying dish soap? (I’ve heard it on TV.). It’s much nicer than “dish soap,” I always picture the actual fairies, lol. Oranges are a delightful scent for soap!

      • Bee says:

        ‘Fairy Liquid’ is an actual brand name – it’s logo sadly and strangely is a baby not a fairy.