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Today’s word is cloying.

weary with excess: to sicken somebody or become sickened with too much sweetness from something initially pleasing

Over the weekend we purchased Downy Unstoppables. These are little colorful beads you put in your washer with the laundry. Supposedly they make your clothes smell wonderful for weeks to come. I like clothes that smell like they’re clean so I was willing to try it.

My first try was with a particularly stinky load of laundry. When I transferred the wet clothes from the washer to the dryer I did a smell test. Realize my nose is quite keen and I am known for my smell sensitivity. I couldn’t smell anything. The clothes didn’t even smell clean. I could still smell original stink.

Granted this load had accidentally sat overnight in the washer. Someone forgot to move them to the dryer when he/she/it said they would. Sadly it didn’t happen. It seemed like a good idea to rewash the clothes. I decided to use more scent beads. Maybe barely covering the bottom of the cap wasn’t enough however small the load. I filled to the first line.

The clothes still didn’t have much of a scent when I moved them to the dryer but I was too busy to care. On laundry day I decided to use my new product in every load. Lots of it. Amy pours beads until the cap is overflowing. Maybe I needed that much!

If you have never tried this product let me be the first to tell you that you don’t need much. While I never let the cap overflow I did fill it with the larger loads.

Amy also says to choose your favorite scent. There were a few to choose from at our store. It’s hard to really smell under a thick plastic cap but we decided on the pink shimmer. Imagine if grapefruit were perfumed. That’s what it smells like. My laundry room was heavy with a spicy dryer sheet sort of scent. Yet for every load I folded I didn’t notice much of a smell. What? The bottle was half empty as well. Hmm …

I was ready to write the whole thing off as a fail. Until I started coughing more and more. It’s hard to say if my post Christmas cold never really went away or if it rented out my lungs to a new family of boogers. At any rate I have been coughing all week. Since laundry day I have been coughing so much I nearly pee my pants. My voice is now gravelly and masculine to boot.

Some of that coughing is just plain old coughing. However I have learned that a lot of it is a sensitivity to smell. Remember our word cloying? I’m generally ok throughout the morning. Then I pick up my kids from school and all but lose my lunch sitting next to them in their Unstoppable infused clothing.

Cloying is the only way to describe it. The scent is so strong it sits on my throat fighting with the booger family. Thank heavens I gave Heath a Soda Stream for Christmas. I have been drinking a liter of raspberry lemonade Crystal Light a day. The effervescent bubbles help soothe my throat. Then a kid hugs me or stands within 20 feet of me and I gag again.

I find it odd that their clothes don’t smell like spicy grapefruit perfume. They just smell like they came straight out of a fresh dryer sheet box. I used to like the smell of dryer sheets …

How do I feel about Downy Unstoppables? It’s probably great for towels and linens. Probably not necessary for everyday clothes. Certainly not in the quantities I was using! Forget what Amy Sedaris does with that bottle of pebbles. You don’t need that much! Unless you need to experience firsthand what the word cloying means.