As an Aggressively Perspiring Person, certain objects give me great pleasure: air-conditioning units, clinical-strength deodorant, those damp towels distributed by fancy airlines and masseuses. In attempts to gain respite from sweltering temperatures, I’ve bought items I know are superfluous but suspect are heat-combating, such as Aesop’s Immediate Moisture Spritz ($25 more expensive than splashing your face with water; infinitely better smelling).
Last month, while drunk-browsing Amazon, I happened upon a product category custom-made for sweaty humans: handheld, battery-operated fans with inbuilt cooling humidifiers. I’d seen miniature fans at dollar shops and desk fans at office-supplies stores, but the genius addition of water made these fans irresistible. For an hour or so, I clicked breathlessly through pages of near-identical plastic blowers, entering hyperlinks into Fakespot to sort the wheat from chaff. Eventually, satisfied I’d found the real deal, I took my tiny fan to checkout.
A few days later, Insten’s Portable Mini Misting Fan arrived. It was bigger than expected — the length of my hand, palm to fingertip — but light enough to carry around in my bag for extended periods. Its plastic exterior also looked more expensive than I’d predicted: a pleasant shade of minty blue reminiscent of toothpaste in kids’ cartoons. There was a USB cord to recharge, for times I wanted to fan myself and use the computer, and a flat, sturdy base, for periods when I desired its cooling presence, but didn’t want to use my hands.
Since purchasing, I’ve tested the misting fan’s potency in several clammy places, from subway stations to the congested, calescent queues at Disney World (where, on a stinking-hot day, I’d unwisely worn a boiler suit). For something so small, it’s surprisingly powerful. The highest of three settings produces a deeply satisfying blast. But the fan’s hero quality is the option to add water. You pour it into the device’s top via a 20 ml bottle (admittedly fiddly and tricky to fill), and the result, while short-lived, is heavenly — it feels, I suspect, like dunking your face in an icy cloud.