There is something to be said about correcting an awful smell with a pleasant one. Today I was leaving Minneapolis, MN and nature was calling. I figured that I’d hit the ‘head’ on the plane. I had had my complimentary cup of coffee at the Marriott at a whopping 4:45am waiting for the shuttle. Seemed like a plan.
We climbed to twenty-nine thousand feet and the pilot turned off the fasten seat belt lights and I was ready to get up. Within a minute, we hit some ‘light-chop’ and the lights went back on. Now I was in trouble. We leveled off at fourteen thousand feet (I had been listening to the air-traffic control channel on United’s In-Flight entertainment). We stabilized a bit, but at this time we were too close to the O’Hare airport that I had to hang a bit longer.
We landed safely and I dashed for the Men’s room in the airport. It was 8:30am Chicago and by this time I was getting hungry. I get in the crowded bathroom and I could not believe the smell that was coming from the urinal air freshener– a nice piping hot ‘blackberry pie.’ The place was empty and my first thought was that someone had dashed in with breakfast and it lingered on, but no. This was coming from an automatic air freshener system mounted in the urinal section of the bathroom. It smelled amazing. Fresh picked, home baked smell. As I was doing my business, my mouth began to water. Now I was getting grossed out. The men’s room in a public facility is the last place where anyone should be thinking about consumables. Seriously, I am trying to let out some 3 hour old coffee and I am drooling like a bear staring at salmon. Florals, herbal, even that “pine” scent would be much more appropriate in a situation where a ’scent’ needs to be masked; not grandmas hard worked crust and harvested berry goodness.
Someone needs to take a look at designing for appropriateness.