This is going to be one of those posts where I have no choice but to embarrass myself a bit, as you’re no doubt wondering why I’m even posting about air freshener in the first place. Obviously I must have had a need to use it–I’ll just leave it at that.
Possibly the only person on the internet who might appreciate this post is Shawn Robare over at Branded in the 80s , whom I recently learned has an affinity for old cans of Fresh’n Up room deodorizers and pastel toilet paper . This one’s for you, Shawn.
I was over at my grandmother’s house for dinner this past Wednesday, as is our ritual every Wednesday, since she lives nearby and it’s how we keep up. Anyway, after dinner I was using her bathroom (no need for details) when I discovered this:
The dated shit-brown colored packaging and 99 cent pricetag gave me instant pause–I knew right away this must be some lost relic of the past. Not to mention you don’t see the word “potpourri” used too often these days. Sure enough, when I looked a little closer, I find this is a can of air freshener from 1989.
Three thoughts immediately pop into my head:
- How the hell does my grandmother still have this in her bathroom?
- Why is it still FULL?
- Does it still smell good? (After all, doesn’t stuff like this expire?)
With no other options under the sink, and no matches in the vicinity, I knew what had to be done.
What does it smell like?
The scent printed on the can is the generic-sounding “Fresh Spice,” which was apparently brand new at the time my grandmother bought this. I wouldn’t exactly describe the smell as “fresh,” but I suppose that’s to be expected some twenty-three years later. It smelled overwhelmingly like cinnamon, but also with a heavy undertone of ammonia; probably because it had been festering for so long before I found it. The smell wasn’t bad , but it was very powerful–like walking into the factory where they make Red Hots , or so I imagine.
I’m also happy to report it was still effective at covering up any, er, unpleasantness. Pretty impressive for a product over two decades old. Thanks to Renuzit’s late eighties scent technology, crisis was averted!
P.S. I put the can back under the sink and didn’t say a word to my grandmother. I decided this will be a fun game to play with myself whenever I visit–how long will the can of 1989 air freshener survive?