The thing about lavender-scented household products is that they rarely seem to smell like lavender. Which isn’t to say they don’t smell nice. This definitely holds true for Mrs. Meyer’s Lavender Clean Day Room Freshener and Fabuloso Lavender Multi-Purpose Cleaner.
Let’s start with the room freshener. In general, I’m not a fan of room sprays. I like a gently scented candle or an occasional baton of incense, and I burn a lot of Papiers d’Arménie near the litter box, but I like my home to feature me as its scented focal point.
However, I recently spent a week in a house in Palm Springs with a spray bottle of Mrs. Meyer’s Lavender Clean Day Room Freshener on the bathroom counter. How could I not try it? When I returned home, I bought a bottle for myself.
To me, Mrs. Meyer’s lavender room spray smells like iced tea with lemon and honey and a few rose petals floating on top. It’s present but unobtrusive, and it’s fresh without screaming “cleaning products.” Its label touts lavender’s ability “to be relaxing, soothing and relieve fatigue,” and its ingredients do include lavender oil — although it’s listed below castor oil and something called Trideceth-9, so I wouldn’t guess the company is decimating Grasse’s lavender fields.
A warning: one spritz is plenty. The room spray has the freakish ability to expand and travel throughout the house. It’s like the schtick with the clowns in the Volkswagen bug. More than one spray, and you’ll be smelling Mrs. Meyer’s freshener in the basement.
One afternoon in Palm Springs, I emerged from my writing cave for a glass of water, and the kitchen smelled fresh and lovely. It wasn’t Pinesol’s sharp, institutional smell, but it wasn’t fruity, either. “It’s lavender Fabuloso,” my host said. “I love the smell.”
You know how when you return after a trip, you see your home like a stranger might? After spending a week in an immaculate house, I set down my suitcase inside my door and realized my place could use a good cleaning. The next day I bought a jug of Fabuloso and went to work in the kitchen.
Fabuloso Lavender Multi-Purpose Cleaner is grape-punch purple. Plus, it’s called Fabuloso, which calls to mind old-timey magicians (“Gather round and watch the amazing Fabuloso cut a woman in two!”). I was suspicious. Fabuloso’s label announces it as lavender scented, but hydrangeas cover most of the label, with only a few obligatory spears of lavender. I poured the recommended quarter cup into a gallon of water and started mopping.
Fabuloso has a resinous edge, like it wants you to know it’s not just soapy liquid here for pleasure, but is on a job. Diluted with water, the fragrance smooths into a tart woody floral on a foundation of pine and laundry musk. A hint of fruity violet seems to sweeten it. This doesn’t mean Fabuloso smells anything like perfume. You’ll never confuse it with Christian Dior Dune. No, Fabuloso is a cleaning product and wafts it loud and proud.
Fabuloso’s label also says it “smells clean for 24 hours.” It must have met its challenge with my kitchen floor, because by dinner its fragrance had vanished. Which was all for the best. I still do want to be the best smelling thing in my house.
Both Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Room Freshener (8 oz spray) and Fabuloso Multi-Purpose Cleaner (56 oz) are cheap thrills at less than five bucks each.