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Anal Detention

The other day, I ran into a young colleague in the ladies room . We said our pleasantries, then clicked into our respective stalls. Within seconds, a rather loud noise emanated from her stall. Poor thing, I thought. Who hasn’t experienced the embarrassment from a snap of escaped flatulence ?
Screen shot 2016-04-30 at 4.26.25 PMThen it happened again. And again. You know the sounds. True, we were in the ladies room. Yes, it is a room full of toilets, meant for eliminating (as Remy’s trainer calls it.) But I have one anal (pardon the pun) retentive question: What is the protocol for solid elimination when others are present?


Screen shot 2016-04-30 at 4.21.04 PMDecades ago, I read about how the Kennedy sisters would snicker when Jackie ran water any time she went number two in a nearby powder room. She wasn’t fooling anyone, but maybe she did it to diminish others’ embarrassment more than her own? Which begs the question: if you can delay the release, should you? I can hear mothers arguing that it’s unhealthy to hold it in, but the fact that one hardly ever encounters splat noises in our ladies room leads me to believe that I’m not the only one who’s, eh, keeping it all in.

But I digress. This post isn’t so much about noise pollution, but remedies to cover up what remains after the troops have been deployed. Sure, you can always burn a match, but I’ve found less obvious ways to destroy the evidence.

Blue Q’s Beethoven Symphony No. 2  $11.99,                                         Love that this cheeky brand (other product names include Jack the Ripper, No Shit, Sherlock and Abe Lincoln’s Log) is in our northern backyard of Pittsfield, Mass. This woodsy citrus blend is like having a cedar chest in the bathroom. And who doesn’t want that?

Murchison-Hume Ladies Bathroom Surface Cleaner & Air Freshener  $9, I found this spray in Telluride, but it’s L.A. based. Its grapefruit aroma is super light, but I do wish its spray was more of a mist, so if you really want to use this just for atmospheric aroma, be sure not to use it on its “Stream” setting.

Provence Sante Vetiver Eau de Toilette $19.99,  Grassy-woodsy vetiver is one of the cleanest freshest fragrances out there. I wear it as a cologne quite a bit (especially in the summer), so when I found this bathroom spray at Guido’s Fresh Marketplace in Great Barrington, I nearly squealed when I saw it comes in vetiver.

Caldrea Linen and Room Spray  $10, While it wasn’t necessarily made for bathroom incidents, sprays might not be meant for the bathroom, but if nothing else is around, they come through in a pinch (pardon the pun)

Aesop Post-Poo Drops $29, was fortunate enough to meet the woman who designs most of Aesop’s products, and when I raved about these drops, she said that some of her colleagues were against them, thinking the idea a bit gauche. She got the last laugh.

Potty Mints Travel Trio $5.50, of these AlkaSeltzer-like tablets were sent to my office (anything that happens in the bathroom falls under “Beauty,” apparently). You plop them into the toilet after its been flushed. I suggest you use two.

One Drop Powerful Deodorizer $4.50, I heard about One-Drops from a fitness trainer, of all things, which leads me to presume that I overshare. They might not be the most organic, but one drop before the mail is delivered leaves your bathroom as odorless as it was before the arrival. They’re sold at most drugstore and chain stores.

Frederic Malle Perfume Gun  If anyone can make a Fantastik-like industrial spray bottle look chic, it’s fragrance genius Frederic Malle. He recently informed me that they’re currently only sold in Paris. Save up for the plane ticket.

If all else fails, a full book of matches never does.





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Jane was executive beauty director at W Magazine for 16 years. When she is not writing beauty articles, she's likely either hiking with her husband and dog, Remy, or in her kitchen, frauding (new verb) her way around a fancy recipe, a home decoration or a highbrow dinner party conversation of which she knows nothing about. In other words, she nods a lot and googles a lot later.

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