Delicious aromas in the kitchen can awaken memories, evoke feelings of happiness and even be a source of joy for the whole family! Its literally impossible to be in a bad mood when something yummy is baking or simmering away, don’t you agree? Did you know that scent is also an important part of the cooking process? All of our senses are employed when we cook but our sense of smell allows us to determine how fresh the ingredients are, how to pair flavours, and is the first indicator that your recipe will taste good! However, something in your kitchen might be affecting your sense of smell without your knowing it.
Over the last few decades we’ve been programmed to associate certain fragrances as fresh and clean, when the truth is those scents were added to hide the harsh smells from the chemicals used in these products. So really what you are smelling isn’t clean counters, dishes, or clothes, its actually perfume and that can affect your senses, including smell and taste!
If you are having doubts, just picture your freshly cleaned kitchen. You cleaned the counters with a powerful disinfectant, then you washed the dishes with that lemony dish soap, and finally dried them with a freshly cleaned dish towel. At least three different products each with their own distinct scent have left fragrance residues which are specifically designed to remain long after you’re done using them.
You might be asking, whats the big deal? Well, those residual residues can actually interact and even be absorbed into your food. Throughout the entire process you've unknowingly added scents that will affect how your food ends up tasting. Call me nutty, but I’d rather season my food with herbs and spices rather than cleaners… and lets just say it, its kind of gross and probably not very good for your health either!
But the most important reason why “fresh” scents don’t have a place in the kitchen, is that they can camouflage the smell of spoiled food. If the the best before date is the only means you use to evaluating if your food is still fresh, you might get a nasty surprise in the form of food poisoning. You should ALWAYS check the smell, texture and colour of the ingredient in question. Each sense is important but I would have to say smell is the biggest indicator of bacteria build up, especially for raw meat, dairy and fish.
So if you want to avoid all this non-scents, you do have a few choices. For many years I’ve actually cleaned my kitchen surfaces with a homemade solution comprised of 50% water - 50% vinegar and a drop of thyme oil. Its a great disinfectant and the only scents come from the actual ingredients themselves, are non-toxic and don’t linger. There are all kinds of DIY cleaners and soaps that are easy enough to make and are a great eco-friendly option!
If DIY is not your style, you guys know that I am a HUGE fan of The Unscented Co for their incredibly effective and uniquely unscented products, and I also love their mission to reduce plastic waste! They have complete line of home & body care products for you to choose from and I have tested and fallen in love with many of them!
Here are my TOP 5 pics for a happily unscented kitchen: