On falling for bizarre advertising

My vacuum cleaner transforms my house into a feel-good oasis.


That’s what packaging of the new vacuum bag said anyway.

I think I need more convincing.


The bag came with a sealed plastic packet of tiny gel balls, much like the ones that swell up to look like oversized frogspawn when you soak them in water but which are almost invisible when put round cut flowers (and covered with enough water).

The instructions read: put vacuum bag into vacuum, open packet, scatter balls on the floor, vacuum the balls into your vacuum and your house into a feel-good wellness oasis.

What actually happened is I followed the instructions and instantly wished I hadn’t.

It appears the vacuum pearls advertising works better than the vacuum pearls themselves…

The promised magnolia glade complete with swirls and glittery stars turned out to be the kind of headache-inducing perfume the air fresheners in shopping centre toilets have in them.


If the instructions had said, “pour balls into empty vacuum bag” I would have had a chane to smell them and could have emptied them out again. Instead, I’d chosen to scatter them all over the carpet on the landing, on a day when the landing really (really) needed vacuuming. The carpet was covered in dog hair and people hair and the pocket fluff and tissue remains I pick out of the washing before I hang it up.

Like I said, there was a good reason for vacuuming on that day. **

At least, there was until I’d vacuumed all the balls up, and then all the grott was in the bag with the smelly gel balls, and I didn’t want to stand over the wheely bin and fish everything back out again (I’d love to add “in the rain”, but it actually wasn’t raining, I was just lazy/a wimp), so I left it. I finished vacuuming the rest of the house and had to open all the windows to let the smell wellness oasis out.

I can’t take that much oasis in one go.


* (Yes, obviously I should take the tissues out of the pockets before I put the clothes in the wash, but my world doesn’t always work like that).

** We’d binned the vacuum bag week or so ago, which meant when I wanted (=needed) to vacuum, I couldn’t because we hadn’t been shopping anywhere other than our nearest mini-supermarket yet.

DB and his mother bought the same model of vacuum cleaner a couple of years ago, so we asked her if she’d got a spare we could have. She didn’t, but promised to buy us some on her way home.

She did, saving me a trek out to wherever sells vacuum bags, and afterwards I did have a vacuumed house, which I suppose has oasis tenancies, so I can’t exactly complain, but I’m not sure I enjoy vacuuming anymore…)

On perfume shopping (part 2)

The perfume fiasco didn’t go unnoticed by my dearest DB. We didn’t have enough time to rectify the situation before the wedding and I thought I’d got away without buying one until we were on the boat to England a couple of weeks later.

The trouble with ferries is they are equipped with dutyfree shops and more time than most people can bear to sit and stare out of the window. I happily agreed to accompany DB in, and to watch him buy whisky and stickers for the van’s headlights. I wasn’t aware though, just how sneaky he can be. After choosing his whisky and picking up the stickers, he steered me not towards the tills, but towards the smelly part of the shop I’d been avoiding – the perfume department. It didn’t look like I was getting out of it. We sprayed numerous paper strips, but neither of us had a pen to write the names down, so by the time we’d sprayed the 4th or 5th scent and mixed up the strips, we had no hope of ever figuring out which was which.

When the helpful voice in the overhead speakers told us it was almost time to land and that the shop would be closing shortly, we bought the one we could remember having sniffed twice.

It smells like rather artificial lemons. But I guess I wanted one which had a recognisable scent.

On perfume shopping (part 1)

– or shopping with SD continued-

I’ve experimented with perfume even less than with make-up.

I hate it when people leave scent trails, unless they’re REALLY good ones, and then I stalk them MWAHAHAHAHAA!!! No. I don’t really stalk people. I’m just really fussy about the ones I would stalk if it was down to smell.

My dearest DB asked me to buy myself a perfume, which he would then pay for when he next saw me. I wasn’t keen on the idea, but it seemed important to him (I don’t think he was trying to tell me something…) and I’m one of those people who love to please 😉 so we went into one of the smelliest shops in the city……and failed.

I sprayed a million strips of what felt like good drawing paper with a million different chemical offerings. Nowhere in the whole shop was a perfume to be found that actually smelt of a specific thing, be it peaches, roses, lavender, cloves, or bleach*. SD thought the idea that perfume should represent anything hilarious. Also, it is impossible to sniff more than about 5 or 6 different perfumes without deadening your nose to everything. I have no idea how anyone chooses a perfume based on anything other than the bottle or the name.

After a very long time, and even more persuasion, I sprayed one onto me instead of the paper strips. SD chose one she wanted to buy and we left.

SD’s boyfriend was waiting for us when we came out. SD held my arm up to his nose and asked what he thought. Confusion doesn’t come close to describing his expression. Once she’d explained that he was supposed to give us his opinion on the perfume, he duly obliged, sniffing and saying it was ‘very nice’ in that polite way people do when they don’t actually care, but don’t want to offend. I could understand his lack of interest – if anyone had asked me a week earlier I wouldn’t’ve reacted any differently. We wandered towards the clothes and jewellery shop, chatting about random things, until SD remembered she’d been successful and waved her own wrist at him. He pulled a face and said, “what on earth’s THAT???” Which was much more honest, but didn’t go down very well, especially since mine had received a rather different reaction.

She stomped off ahead, leaving us to exchange glances, and trail after her.

We didn’t make things better when she asked us what we thought of a salmon coloured shirt. As a style-no-hoper, I got away with saying I didn’t like the colour much, her dear boyfriend, who also didn’t appreciate the delicate orange tones, got the full brunt of her displeasure. I can’t say I was jealous 😉

I bought earrings and a couple of flowery hairslides – they’d at least keep the hair out of my eyes if nothing else – and I was fully kitted out to go to the party.

Once we were all thoroughly tired of shopping, we went to buy icecream.

Icecream can make a lot of things better, and I can’t actually say I hadn’t enjoyed myself, but I think in future I need a fairy Godmother with a magic wand – getting all prettied up was never that much work in the fairytales!

Oh yeah, and the sandals had made holes in my toes while I was walking.


* No. I don’t want to smell like bleach. I just wanted them to make their perfume smell like something.