August 16, 2011

Utterly Incensed

I’m hoping some of the lovely bloggers on/of domestic elegance pick this up and help me out. Mrs. VB and I just moved in to a new apartment. One of the vagaries of contract work is that one never settles, and as such we often find ourselves in furnished places, subject to other people’s tastes. I have a high degree of tolerance for ugly domestic interiors, but I’m finding a certain hidden devil here rather difficult to live with.

It seems the previous tenants were burners of incense. I know of no good reason for incense, unless one counts Catholicism, and this experience is not improving my opinion. The smell won’t shift. The essential oils, or whatever they are, somehow seem to be in the very fabric of the place – in the wood, the walls, the floors – and no amount of fresh air and vinegar seems to be doing the trick.

Any suggestions?


  1. If you are renting the joint, request a deep cleaning. You can always start the request with the noun "allergy". The other thing that works is to keep all of the windows open and have a few fans going for a few days. It can work for cigars, so give it a shot. You can also take the cushion covers to be dry-cleaned. Avoid any topical concealers that contain allusions to 'breeze' in them.

  2. Oh no, Molotov cocktail?
    I agree, High Catholicism is the only excuse for incense burning.

  3. I think I have to stop short of arson.
    Maybe the smell of cigars would be a good replacement.

  4. I would suggest the Fabreze odor remover, as my wife swears by it. However, I'm not entirely convinced scientists don't discover it to be the asbestos of our day, as it just seems unnatural. So, take that with a grain of salt.

    Otherwise, cotton in the nose, while not very becoming, will do the trick, I'm sure.

  5. In the spirit og "nag champa" which I suspect you are unfamiliar with... meaning you did not attend the same University I did; one masking smell should always be dealt with by masking.
    In the case of insence, the only suitable tactic is bringing a live, long haired goat into your domicile and setting it ablaze.
    The resulting pandemonium, and smells, will quickly merit your landlord getting you a new place.

  6. Look into a lampe berger. I have seen several of my fellow pipe smokers use these to successfully rid their homes of smoking related odors. There are several videos on YouTube of them doing so.

  7. Incense is very strong, especially if your apartment is steadily dosed over time.

    If I may, I recommend finding a good incense to rid you of the smell.


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