Febreeze to the Face, Or, The Dangers of Freebies

Listen, little children, to the cautionary tale of being wooed and wowed by boujee face creams and expensive sprays! #savemoney #storyteller #author

It is a truth universally acknowledged that people love free stuff.

I don’t care how many super sophisticated marketing campaigns you show me or what Hubspot says is the next digital trend; I can tell you right now what will get attention. Give ‘em stuff! People love free stuff.

We just do.

It’s why the Costco sample tables have a mysterious influx from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., why college kids come home with 98 t-shirts from every wellness or career fair and why people line up out the door of MAC to get a free lipstick in a heinous shade.

This probably says something incredibly significant about the human race — that we have a collective scarcity mindset, or that we value things more when we feel we didn’t have to work for them because we’re getting away with something. The puzzles of humanity!

Now, I have never claimed to be a minimalist, but I have a pretty good grip on not hoarding things that I don’t want/use/need.

OK, fine, I’ve gotten a BETTER grip than SC circa 2001, and I’m light-years ahead of some of my friends. So maybe a true minimalist would advise you pass up anything you don’t truly need, but I say only take in that which makes you stronger. Or that which sparkles.

In other words, I consider myself a value expert when it comes to spotting freebies that are a good steal and one that’s worth letting go.
(e.g.: typically skip refillables like shampoo in cheaper hotels; snag something individually wrapped or prepared, like trail mix pack. Pro tip: use conditioner in lieu of the shaving cream you accidentally left at home. You’re welcome. )

Personally, I’m intrigued as to how the FinCon host hotel will handle the mass exodus of hotel bottles that’s bound to occur when so many frugal Frannies are together in one place.

Anyway, my mindful minimalist side KNOWS that I am not going to use a sixth Orange Ginger Lotion from Marriott (y’all know the one).

And yet, my redneck side simply cannot pass up a high-quality freebie.

To that I say: LEAN IN, BABY.

They’re not putting out that hotel lobby fruit for their health. That’s part of your room’s price tag! Full cans of Diet Coke on the airplane? Load me up, lady.

And don’t get me started on pens.

It’s a whole thing. I’ve been obsessed with school supplies as long as I can remember, and would always get straight-up giddy over a new pack of crayons. I especially love a good pen, and I always have to have one with me. If I don’t have a pen, I panic.

What if inspiration strikes? What if I think of a joke I need to write down? What if I meet Bradley Cooper and have no way to write down my phone number jot down Charleston restaurant suggestions?

Without a pen, I’m like a three-legged dog or an 8th grader without a screen in front of their nose: visibly uncomfortable and partially handicapped, especially in social situations.

Trying out ALL hotel pens (and usually taking them with me) was a no-brainer, but I’ve s-l-o-w-l-y broken that habit. Why? Because I already have back-up pens in my purse, car, work bag, gym bag and beach bag. Plus, hotel pens are always Bic fat tip in BLUE and who even wants that?!

Um… where was I going with this?

Oh, right, freebies.

This love of quality freebies runs in my family, save for my sister when she was three years old.

The church was hosting some sort of symbolic love feast focused on breaking bread together. Only, when the bread was passed to my sister she replied, “No thanks, I ate at home.”

Have I painted an adequate picture?

Great. Now, imagine my delight in an upscale boutique workout facility like Pure Barre.

Here, for a mere $159 per month, I have unlimited access to classes, community and, most importantly, complimentary luxury rose water face spray and dry shampoo.

RELATED READ: Oh My Quad: An Ode to Pure Barre

It’s the cherry on top of an endorphin-boosting workout, and reason number 3,985 why I lurrveee Pure Barre.


Nestled on the Pure Potty shelf between the philosophy® body butter and the Trader Joe’s organic mouthwash (a trap!!! use only at your own peril!!!!) is a sleek white and brown bottle with one word on it: “Purify”

Expecting this to be some kind of magical hippie skin-clearing stuff like the other products here, I spritzed the bottle in a circular fashion around my face and decolletage like Gwenyth Paltrow taught me to. Nothing like a little refresh before class!

Here’s the story of my next 30 seconds, as told by Britney Spears.


Oh. Oh no. Oh dear.


The best part is that my eyes are now blinded and burning with the ferocity of hellfire. At least it’s organic hellfire!!!!!

Fumbling around the sink for the water faucet with the grace and exactitude of a young Helen Keller, I finally splash some water in my eyes.

Still stingin’.

Squinting, and barely able to make out the letters on the back of the spray bottle, two words started to take shape: Cedarwood … Sage ….


Though the minimalist packaging hid its true purpose well, I started to realize that this was not a face spray at all. It was a room spray.

I was a walking ad for the hippie version of Febreeze, everyone’s favorite post-use bathroom spray which does nothing to absorb the odor, and does everything to cover the evidence in a thick mask of shitrus.

I start scrubbing my skin with the strength of three titans, but to no avail; my pores still exuded sandlewood with every squat.

Because I am a serious and dedicated blogger, I researched and finally located this spray online. It technically can be used on the body, but is meant to “create a sacred space or to clear a person or place of negative or stagnant energies. Great for ceremonial magic.”


Oh, OK.

I think this spray did more to clear me of my dignity than my stagnant energy, but maybe the formula works in a slow release — stay tuned to find out!

(From now on, I’m only ever referring to * smells * as “negative energy” — who’s with me?!)

According to this website, sage can also activate the Third Eye.

Thank goodness. My other two are out of commission.


Oh, what’s that you say?

You want more embarrassing stories about Pure Barre?

I got you.

Read now: Of Course That Happened, You Clumsy, Cursed Child - Vol. I: The Proof is in the Pudding Pants

Handle From Hades.pngListen, little children, to the cautionary tale of being wooed and wowed by boujee face creams and expensive sprays! #savemoney #storyteller #author