Editor’s note: On November 17, 2022, the Laundress issued a safety notice about all of its products, recommending that you “immediately stop using all The Laundress products in your possession. We have identified the potential presence of elevated levels of bacteria in some of our products that present a safety concern.” Its investigation is ongoing, so until we hear otherwise, we do not recommend that you purchase new products from the Laundress or continue to use the ones in your possession.
If you’re anything like me, you’re sometimes something of a mess. But you’re also exceedingly practical, which is why you already know about the Laundress store, tucked away just west of Broadway in Soho, and stocked with a bounty of premium-priced, luxury cleaning supplies — including, but not limited to, fancy goat-hair brooms, monogrammed cloth-storage cubes, and a selection of vaguely philanthropic fabric sprays developed in partnership with John Mayer (yes, that one). One of my favorites is the wool-and-cashmere spray — a tiny vial of deodorized water used to freshen up sweaters between dry-cleans. It doesn’t “wash” anything, but extends the time between washes, so you can go on living in abject squalor.
I went to the store one afternoon with the express purpose of purchasing it. Just as I was about to pay, the sales associate instead directed me to the Home Spray, which had even more uses than the wool-and-cashmere: as a dry shampoo for upholstery, bedding, curtains, basically any fabric tainted by your filthy life — and wool and cashmere. At $10, and twice the size of the wool-and-cashmere spray, the Home Spray was a bargain; the Laundress actually undersold me. Or maybe not. I bought three.
Think of Laundress’s Home Spray as an upscale Febreze: A product that freshens your living situation with a careful blend of clean, fresh, and not too perfumey scents that actually smell like laundry, rather than cut pine. The spray doesn’t just mask odor, though. It actually lifts it with the help of antibacterial eucalyptus (you may also get a whiff of some lily of the valley, ylang-ylang, and bergamot), rather than ammonia or eco-unfriendly sodium phosphate. Unlike highly chemical alternatives, it’s safe to use around pets, too. Buy it as a housewarming or hostess gift the next time you’re invited over to someone’s apartment; it looks much more extravagant than it is.
“This is made by this magical Japanese woman Keiko Matsuo, who lives in Los Angeles. Anyway, she has someone who goes to Japan and extracts this oil from ancient trees with all these healing and restorative properties, and that’s what this room spray is. It’s hard to describe. It smells cedary and extremely calming. She recommends spraying it on your pillow or your sleep area, because it’s a nice way to wind down in your sanctuary. She even has one for dogs after they’ve gone outside, which I’d recommend, too.” — Aubrey Plaza
“This stuff is amazing. It’s an all-natural cleaning spray for counters, and you use it in the kitchen and bathroom. My apartment is so small that anything you spray on the counters gets sprayed on the fruit bowl and utensils, so it’s important that it’s not, like, poison. It also just smells phenomenal. It’s got this citrus scent because of the neroli, and it doesn’t even smell like a cleaner. It’s more like a candle or room spray. We use it in the office, and whenever someone comes in, they’re like, ‘What is that?’” — Claire Mazur, co-founder, Of a Kind
“I keep a small spray bottle of this sanitizer in every room in the house, and also my purse, my office, and my dressing room at work. A few of the makeup artists that we work with on set use this all the time, and sometimes on a 20-hour SNL day it’s the closest thing I can get to a shower. I also spray it on mattresses, zits, makeup brushes, and clothes, but mostly armpits. It’s truly not just for hands.” — Aidy Bryant
One of the first of its kind to hit the market back in 2007, Poo-Pourri was conceived by Suzy Batiz, a serial entrepreneur, when her husband’s bathroom trips became particularly unsettling. She realized that a few drops of essential oils before he sat down would do the trick. They spent their own $25,000 to open the company, and the spray took off. It works like this: Spray three Poo-Pourri spritzes into the toilet before you settle down. That creates a film over the water, trapping bad smells inside. When your bricks splash down onto it, the film releases Poo-Pourri’s essential oils, leaving a light floral scent. In 2013, the company went viral with an ad called “Girls Don’t Poop” that’s since been viewed almost 40 million times on YouTube. That $25,000 investment has now spawned a $300 million company.
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