How to Leave a Fragrance, Not an Odor

I have something really fun to share with you today about fragrance, but first a story. About my friend, Herta. It’s been quite a few years now since she and Al came to visit.

In their graciously kind manner, they brought gifts. I thought I’d heard of everything, but one of these gifts left me wide-eyed and sputtering to find a good response, which I am not sure I did.


Privately, I concluded that this small, supremely elegant spray bottle that Herta was visibly so excited about must be something special in their country—to me it was it was oddly foreign.

The name on the bottle left me stuttering: Poo-Pourri Before-You-Go Toilet Spray. Herta took me into the powder room to demonstrate. “Look, you just spritz the surface of the toilet water before you go. It stops bathroom odors before they ever begin!” Herta was so excited to show me this fabulous new product. Me? I was like … whaaat?

I have to admit that I couldn’t wait to try it, and I did. You know what? It really worked. The product is oily. When you spray Poo-Pourri into the toilet (before … not during or after), it sits on the surface of the water and creates a kind of sealant against, well …let’s just say it—fumes. It traps the odors, sending them down the drain, not out into the room. Get it?

I’m not sure if Herta was the first to introduce Poo-Pourri to America or not, but I like to think so. What I know is that it’s here now, and become quite popular.

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I see Poo-Pourri in the finest powder rooms (my friends know who they are). Not long ago, I noticed a discreet supply of Poo-Pourri in the ladies room at church.

The car wash has this clever product on prominent display in the waiting area, right next to the funniest greeting cards. Herta would be so pleased.

I do wonder about a couple of things: First, who came up with this? The idea itself is great but the person who came up with the name? Brilliant!

Second, why is it so expensive? At . Don’t laugh. I think about these things and I’m sure there are households, gas stations, dormitories, frat houses—to name just a few—that could use it by the gallon.

For them (and you), I have the best news: You can make it yourself. You can replicate the same kind of discreet preventive product and even dispense it with a little spray bottle—for a whole lot less!

Make-It-Yourself Poo Spray

Mix all ingredients directly into a 4 ounce (or similar) spray bottle. Or mix in a bowl, then using a small funnel to pour into smaller 1-ounce spray bottles. Recipe multiplies well.

To Use: Shake well right before use. Spritz about 10 times to cover the surface of the toilet bowl water. Proceed.

My friend, the late Rich Buhler, taught me a very useful life principle to rely upon when dealing with challenging situations and difficult people. “No matter how difficult that person or the situation may be,” he would say, “always strive to leave a fragrance, never an odor.”

Thanks to Herta, Al, and Rich, I’m leaving fewer “odors” than I may have, were it not for their friendship.


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9 replies
  1. Patricia Stariha Roy
    Patricia Stariha Roy says:

    After a serious surgery, my husband was confined to a hospital bed, and had to use a commode at the bedside. This stuff was the bomb!! My sister found it at the hospital gift shop, and now we are never without it!!

  2. Luisa
    Luisa says:

    Thanks for sharing, Mary. I remember my reaction the first time I heard of this, too. 😉 Do you know of anything that could work instead of the glycerin, like vitamine E oil?

    • Marla
      Marla says:

      Are you opposed to using glycerin or can you not find it easily near you? If you are having a difficult time finding it, check a pharmacy. Walmart stores near us sell a 6oz bottle of it for less than $4 here.

  3. Cally
    Cally says:

    i’m wondering if there would be any negative impact on our septic tank. maybe i should save it for when i’m not at home? 😉

  4. Marla
    Marla says:

    I don’t do any of that mixing or multiple ingredients. I bought the smallest amber colored, glass bottle that I could find locally, added my favorite essential oil (Bergamot) and topped the bottle with one of the orifice reducers. I just open the lid and drop one to two drops of the essential oil in the bowl.
    I don’t know if it’s necessary with the essential oil being diluted in Mary’s recipe but essential oils will eat through (melt) some plastics and sunlight can accelerate the expiration of essential oils. I believe it’s generally recognized as a good idea to use colored (amber or cobalt), glass bottles.


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