Sunday, May 30, 2010

Why Guests Should Not Spray Perfume ....

We have a cheeky chipmunk that thinks he owns the cottage. Yesterday’s guests even made a sighting. As the couple was leaving, the man said to Sven, “My wife thinks she saw a small animal in the bedroom. It wasn’t a mouse. It wasn’t a rat. It wasn’t a chipmunk. It wasn’t a squirrel …”

So, our chipmunk has taken to wearing a disguise!

Sven and I got out the ladder and explored behind the chimney where we found a new entry hole. A piece of wood and some nails quickly eliminated that illicit entrance to the cottage bedroom. A few bricks on top ensured even the sharpest teeth cannot recreate the passageway. The real subject of this post, however, is not Cheeky. It’s the people who reported the sighting and what upset me more …

There’s a prominent sign in the living room that says, “Seagull Cottage is an allergen-free space. We do not allow pets or smoking. Please respect this request so our guests with sensitivities can also enjoy their vacation.”

I confirm every booking, and in the letter sent out there’s a phrase our last guests missed: “We also request that spraying of perfume take place outside.”

This is a green B&B and most guests respect our requests. Some don’t. These guests were of the sort who couldn’t care less. They must have skimmed my confirmation email because the cottage REEKED of perfume. It smelled so chemical that I could almost imagine the wife prancing around with an atomizer, spritzing everything in sight.

Over-zealous spraying of perfume is something I encountered a lot in France, especially in elevators. Even expensive perfume is not made with natural ingredients any more. And, many ingredients are kept secret.

The Environmental Working Group has a new report out on fragrance, so do check it out. Here's one short paragraph: “When sprayed or applied on the skin, many chemicals from perfumes, cosmetics and personal care products are inhaled. Others are absorbed through the skin. Either way, many of these chemicals can accumulate in the body. As a result, the bodies of most Americans are polluted with multiple cosmetics ingredients.”

I used to wear French perfume. No longer! How about you?