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What Smells?


That would be me…

If you’re smelling an Apple Cider Peppermint Patty.

No, I have not lost my marbles.

Well, actually, maybe I have.

It all started yesterday afternoon when I read Knitting Rose’s latest blog post.

You see, she’s decided to try a new thing…not using shampoo on her hair.  Go on…go read her post.  I’ll be waiting.


Ok.  So, you probably understand how my curiosity perked up.

For years, I’ve been concerned about the bad stuff that’s in beauty products.  In fact, I’ve experimented with different organic shampoos that didn’t contain sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate.  You can read about these and other ingredients here.  Bad stuff, I tell you.  I found a couple of products I liked, but with my job situation, I’ve cut out the more expensive stuff from my budget.  Not to mention  that I’m a backslider and had begun to resort to mainstream grooming products.  And, quite honestly, I’ve been happy.

So, when I read Lise’s account of washing her hair using baking soda and a vinegar rinse, I was gung ho!  I was already planning a trip to Sam’s to buy the biggest vats I could find of vinegar and baking soda.

You know…I’m starting to feel a little like a hippie.  Must be the anniversary of Woodstock or something (NOT!).

Sorry…just a funny aside.

Now, just so you know, I don’t do anything without researching the heck out of it first.  I googled to my heart’s content last night.  Apparently we’re not the only hippie-wannabe’s in this world.  In fact, according to one website, people used to use baking soda and vinegar quite regularly…before all of the commercial products came out.  You can check out this link and this link and this link if you want.  Interesting reading, I tell you, if you’re into this sort of thing.

I have naturally curly hair that tends to be on the dry side, so I made special note of these concerns.  A couple of sites mentioned using coconut oil or honey as a “conditioner.”  I have used coconut oil before.  It’s a little different, but most organic stuff is.

So, this morning I was all set.

Baking soda.


Apple cider vinegar.


I made up my baking soda paste.  Mine was a little watery, but for my first time, it was passable.

I then mixed up a batch of diluted apple cider vinegar water, adding 1/4 cup of vinegar to 1 3/4 cup water.

I followed the instructions I’d read and massaged my scalp with the baking soda.  I rinsed with warm water.

Then came the fun part.

Rinsing with the vinegar mixture.




The smell was very strong.

I figured it would dissipate just like my white vinegar does when I clean.


I decided I would be brave and leave the rinse on my hair.  One website had comments where people do this regularly.




I got out of the shower wondering how long it would take for the smell to go away.  Would it stick to my hair towel?  Would my towel smell tomorrow when I needed to use it again?

I dressed, brushed out my hair, and applied makeup.  Just because I smelled like a pickle didn’t mean I had to look like one.

And then I did the unthinkable.

I went out in public.

With my hair still smelling.

My city is small.  I only had a few errands to run, so I knew I wouldn’t be in the car very long.

Let me just tell you that I just about gagged while I was sitting in the car.

That’s how bad I smelled.

Coupon Queen called to tell me about a fabo coupon, but all I could think about getting this awful smell off of me.

So I told her the story.

And she laughed…

And laughed…

And laughed.

And still I drove.

Thankfully, the bank was a drive-thru stop.  Phew!  The money machine keeps secrets well, let me tell you.

On to…gasp…the grocery store.  Rooster went to the orthodontist yesterday, and he is now sporting new chains across the top of his mouth (if you’ve had braces, you know what I’m talking about) along with sore teeth.  Ice cream was in order.

I cannot tell you how self-conscious I was the entire time I was in there.

I glanced furtively around me.  Were people staring?  Why was the lady in front of me looking at me.  Was she wondering if I had bathed in vinegar?

Thank goodness for manners.  Nobody said a thing.

I got back in my car and discovered that the smell had permeated the seats.


I still had a few more stops.

On to the dry cleaners to pick up Chicky’s comforter.  There was no drive-thru service.  Thank goodness I had the correct change.  I made a speedy exit.

I was so distracted by the smell that I forgot to run two errands.  All I could think about was getting home.

You see, I knew that I had this…

That, my friends, is Peppermint Oil.  It’s divine…in small doses.

I shook some out in my hands and applied it liberally to my hair.


If you’ve never used essential oils, let me tell you…they are potent.  A little goes a long way.  A lot goes way too far.

By this time, Chicky had arrived from her babysitting job to grab a couple of coupons for lunch.  She took one look smell at me and backed away.

“Mama, what smells?”

I started laughing.

“Mama, you smell like a Peppermint Patty.”

“If you think I smell bad, go stick your head in the car.  You’ll be glad I only smell like a Peppermint Patty.”


I’m not sure if I did something wrong or if people actually get used to smelling like this.

I, for one, have no plans to get used to it.

In fact, I am so glad that I didn’t try this out on a Sunday morning before church!  I can only imagine the looks I would have gotten there!  There would have been a lot of people coughing their way through the worship songs, that’s for sure.


I am going to try this again, only this time I am going to use a lemon juice rinse I read about.  No more vinegar for me, unless I can get some fruity smelling stuff.

And all I can say is that I’m glad I didn’t buy ten gallons of vinegar at Sam’s!

Oh boy…I’m off…to add more oil to my hair.  The vinegar smell is so potent that it’s worked its way through the peppermint.

If my makeup didn’t look great right now, I’d hop back in the shower.


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