Here’s an understatement of the new year: Wearing a face mask is annoying. Sure, it protects others (and you) from your viral particles and keeps you warm on windy winter days. But do I enjoy sweating profusely underneath that patch of fabric or plastic? Do I enjoy the maskne, or the way my everything bagel-tinged breath hotboxes itself within my mask so that I’m stuck smelling salty garlic for hours? No! No, I do not.
I miss not constantly stressing over whether my mask is on, whether I’ve lost it, fiddling with my foggy glasses, and being able to understand people when they speak. Above all, I miss breathing clean, fresh air. But folks, this is 2021. This is the world we live in, and I’m more than willing to keep that mask strapped to my face if it means I’m doing my part to keep myself and others healthy.
That said, I’m all for any product that makes mask wearing as pleasant of an experience as possible. I’ve written about the handiness of face mask chains in ensuring your covering is always close, and now I present to you my next favorite product, which was sent to me as a sample: Enfusia’s refreshing mask deodorizer spray.
I know—it sounds like an eye roll. I, too, was uncertain why I’d want a deodorizer slapped on my face, because the thing is, I’m highly scents-itive. I warn friends in advance to extinguish candles before we spend time together because they often trigger headaches. Growing up, I learned to completely avoid Bath & Body Works at the mall because of the nausea I’d experience once that wave of a hundred cumulative floral scents hit me. I’m very particular about perfumes I wear or incense I buy—the more natural, the better. So I was naturally skeptical of this deodorizing spray because the last thing I wanted was a Febreze situation: a sickly sweet, chemical scent called some nonsense like Meadow Stream that does its best to hide (mask, if you will) bad smells, but ultimately creates a sandwich of stank.
For my first use, I spritzed the Enfusia inside and outside my mask a couple of times and then let the scent settle for around 20 seconds, as recommended. Then I donned my mask, and immediately smelled something that reminded me closely of the sweet mint gum I chewed throughout college. The spray is made with pure essential oils—a blend of eucalyptus, spearmint, peppermint, rosemary, lavender, and tea tree. It blends the invigorating qualities of mint (without veering into full-on mouthwash territory) with the soothing properties of lavender, a divine combo.
Once it aired, I went about my day-to-day business, and was surprised to find that not only did the deodorizer not turn my stomach, it relaxed me. Which is one step further than just hiding an odor, and not at all what I expected. The fragrance reminded me of the times when, lying in Corpse pose at the end of a pre-pandemic yoga class, the instructor rubbed eucalyptus oil in her hands, then hovered them above my closed eyes, releasing the forest-y scent, so that relief would spread across the opening of my chest. Waiting in a long, distanced line outside the post office, I’d breathe in for a few seconds of clarity that reminded me to just have patience. Because the scent lingered for at least an hour or so, I was even inspired to treat myself to a 30-minute chair massage at a local nail salon, so that for that half-hour, I could almost pretend I was inside a spa.
The mask spray isn’t a necessary purchase, of course, nor does it sanitize in any way. But using it made me feel calmer and more clear-headed, and it’s far better than smelling my own breath.