Eau de Sanitizer: A Home Fragrance

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Eau de Sanitizer: A Home Fragrance

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The early days of quarantine were quiet and calm, as the streets around my home in Southern California were filled with silence since there were fewer cars and people roaming outdoors. Sanitizer and rubbing alcohol were in high demand, and in heavy rotation in our home, as everything that came in was wiped, sprayed, and cleaned before being put away. I remember coming home from the store and wiping down every item with alcohol and sanitizer, and I remember wiping down every counter, surface, and phone. Afterwards, the house was filled with the sharp and dismal aroma of rubbing alcohol, as the fragrance mimicked a well-diffused scented candle. The distinctive scent wafted throughout the living room and lingered within the walls, the drapes, and the furniture. It became the scent of March 2020, and a home fragrance which lacked the expected or traditional calming or soothing properties of a candle or diffuser that is placed in a room. Every outing resulted in rubbing alcohol-infused surroundings, which served as a constant reminder of the changing climate. Eau de Sanitizer recalled the uneasiness, fear, and chaotic shops of the early pandemic, as it was a fragrant reminder of the unknown. The memory of that spring is tied to the scent of rubbing alcohol, and now every time I light a candle in my living room I am reminded of those early days.

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This item was submitted on October 15, 2021 by Violet Mostofi using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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