Essential Oil Scented Cleaning Products
The biggest phenomenon in the realm of home fragrance products is essential-oil-scented cleaning products. The category, pioneered by the Good Home Co. and Caldrea (which makes proprietary brands for Williams-Sonoma), includes products for home and laundry–fabric softener, detergent, dish soap, cleanser, stainless-steel spray–all in exotic scents of green tea patchouli, cucumber mint, or lemongrass.
Though sales figures are not available for this segment of the industry, the Good Home Co. claims more than $4 million in sales last year.
“People are stressed out and multitasking,” said Terry Molnar of the Sense of Smell Institute. “They don’t just want to wash the dishes. They want it to relax them too.”
What these products promise is the chance for some sensual pleasure in housecleaning. And for that, harried homemakers are willing to pay $15 for dish soap, $12 for ironing spray, and $22 for laundry detergent.
Jennifer Reid Holman recently got hooked on the Good Home Co.’s lavender cleaning line. “Some people are scented-candle people. Some are Glade PlugIn people. I may be turning into a frou-frou perfumed-cleaning-spray person,” she said.
Holman, a Philadelphia freelance writer and the mother of two young girls, said of her penchant for $12 lavender dryer sheets: “I consider them a cheap thrill. They’re a little luxury now that I spend more time cleaning up after two sticky kids and less time on more personal luxuries like manicures.”
For some people, however, these elegantly boxed and bottled cleaners are something else–status symbols, little emblems of the the quest for the picture-perfect home.
“The aesthetic factor has been ratcheted up quite a bit,” said Dave Glassman, marketing director for Restoration Hardware, which introduced its own line of scented cleaners in January. “People are interested in items you can leave out on display in the laundry room and the bathroom.”