Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Ridiculous Product Of The Day: Season-Scented Washing-Up Liquid

I had an exciting 60 seconds in the cleaning aisle at Coles this afternoon, seeking out some dishwashing liquid. Should be simple - something that doesn't smell offensive, and just cleans my pots and pans. I was rather astonished to find, amongst the pedestrian lemon/lemon-lime/orange-antibacterial varieties, that Palmolive have released a line of washing-up liquid that's scented like...seasons. As in, "summer breeze" and "winter warmth". Winter warmth? Like, smoky wood fires and asthma-inducing fog? Summer breeze - sea air and fresh grass clippings? Or perhaps a different kind of grass clipping that wafts over summer music festivals?

The thing is, no kind of cleaning product that claims to be "fragranced", actually smells anything remotely like lemons or oranges or even lavender. They just all have the reassuring scent of chemical disinfectant. Oh, how we love inhaling those toxins - but how sparkling clean our benchtops are! You know what else made me pause and reflect? That ad for hand wash where the kid won't stand still for "long enough" to wash his hands "properly", but luckily this particular anti-bacterial cleanser works in just ten seconds. So he's free to run back outside and dig for grubs asap. Now, have you ever counted the seconds when washing your hands? I'd be willing to bet most adults don't even suds-up for ten seconds. Not the one-mississippi, two-mississippi time keeping method anyway. So the chance of kids even reaching 4 seconds is a fairly big ask. Now, mothers around the country are not only wondering at the bad over-dubbing on the ad, but also at how their kids must be running around with disgusting, miniscule germs wriggling shamelessly all over their hands - and all the soap that must have previously been used in vain. Pointless scare-mongering, I tells ya!

Anyway, back to Palmolive. Either the people who's job it is to come up with new and exciting scents for cleaning detergents were running really, really thin on ideas, or they wondered in a crazy, mad scientist Willy Wonka kinda way if they could really bottle the scent of a summer's day. Or, perhaps they thought that if they make their liquid a slightly different colour to the usual and package it appropriately - oranges and red and autumn leaves for winter, which incidentally would in fact be autumn and not winter; and pink and purple flowers for summer, which is actually more like spring if you think about it -  they could convince people of dubious olfactory abilities that they really are whiffing winter warmth when they wash their crockery. To be fair, I didn't smell either, as I probably would have been politely escorted from the store if I had tried, so maybe they really are amazing, Heston-Blumenthal-of-the-cleaning-world creations that have the ability to awaken and alight your other senses, as well as give your glassware sparkling shine. But maybe they're just another useless product that we don't need, but subconsciously kinda want to try in the vain hope they might be better than regular Palmolive. At least they aren't completely useless products - they will clean your dishes, after all - unlike these:

An icecream cone that turns the icecream for you. WTF?!
Baby wipes warmer. Presumably it also dries out your wipes so they're not too wet.

Electronic spin the bottle. So, in effect, you don't actually have to spin the bottle.
Light up slippers. Perfect for lighting up the few millimetres in front of your toes. And annoying everybody else.
Hamburger holder. Though you do have to hold the holder.

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