Celia Rivenbark

Does everything need to smell so good? | From the Belle Tower

When did we all decide that garbage needs to smell good? And not just good but insanely appealing, delightful even. The kind of irresistible aroma that makes you wish you could just curl up for a nap inside with all those coffee grounds, potato peels and used diapers.

While there’s no word of a limited-edition pumpkin spice scented trash bag YET, it wouldn’t surprise me for something like that to be introduced next fall in scents like “pumpkin brulee cinnamon swirl.” I get it. Nobody is ever going to fall for a marketing campaign that sells kitchen trash bags “Now! With week-old shrimp scent built in!” But how about just no smell at all? (“Now! Plastic bag scented, er, plastic bags!”)

The trash bag aisle is today what the cereal aisle used to be. Go ahead. Check it out. I’ll wait. But you’re going to be a while. The options are dizzying.

Lemon, Lavender, Vanilla, Tropical…I wasted at least 10 minutes trying to decide if I wanted the discarded skin from tonight’s chicken thighs to smell like “Hawaiian Aloha” or “Mediterranean Lavender.”

If you’re thinking: “I didn’t know aloha even had an aroma, well, that’s because you’re probably the kind of cynical soul that would write an online review that, I swear, described Glad vanilla scented trash bags as having: “a smell that reminded me of caring for my parents in their last months.”

Even more alarming was the Hefty black bag that “hides unsightly messes.” What? Are we talking Dexter-style messes because that’s kinda what it sounds like. Hide them from whom, pray tell? And isn’t garbage supposed to be an unsightly mess? That’s why they call it “garbage” isn’t it? I don’t think the sanitation truck crew is going to be fooled by your black bag.

Bud: “Whoa. There are a whole lotta these black bags in the can today. Do you think they are hiding an unsightly mess?”

Joe: “I don’t know. Since the bags are impossible to see through, I’d like to err on the side of caution and assume that they are brimming with nothing more than the rainbow hued happy tears of a million unicorns.”

Never happen. They probably suspect it’s full of an unsightly mess and possibly even a week’s worth of used kitty litter. Trust me, an entire Hawaiian village of aloha couldn’t cover up that smell.

Scented garbage bags seem antithetical. I don’t mind the endless array of home fresheners and clip on car fresheners but making your kitchen trash smell like “Gain Traditional Fresh” seems a whole different level of shark-jumping. So now you want your garbage to smell like your laundry?

Speaking of laundry, do we really need Downy Unstoppables which, and I’m not making this up, claims to make your laundry smell like “gourmand vanilla and cedar undertones?” Finally! Laundry that smells good enough to eat, but remains manly enough to wear to the gym. We’ve waited our whole lives for this, said no one ever.

Celia Rivenbark is the New York Times best-selling author of “Rude B****** Make Me Tired.” Visit www.celiarivenbark.com.