Smelling like Auntie Hilda


When Mrs Sensible and I moved to Italy (against her better judgement) we decided to rent a house. This was for three reasons. 1) We knew we would ultimately move to Sicily and we didn’t want to get caught up in the nightmare of buying and selling Italian houses. 2) We couldn’t sell our house in the UK because the Americans cocked up the financial markets, when their sub-prime mortgages crashed (please no hate mail from you nice Americans)  and the 3rd reason is, I forgot but there was a third reason, there always is a third reason in life.

 

There was another reason.

There was another reason.

I should do a post on the differences between renting a house in Italy and renting a house in the UK but if you get me started on my little house in the UK, and the people who rent it I will get very angry, burst into tears and head for the grappa bottle. (See always three things)

 

Grappa, I love this stuff

Grappa, I love this stuff

In Italy we have tried not to acquire too much furniture, as Mrs S says, in a couple of years we will have to cart it down south so why bother. We have some really good friends up here, who have loaned Mrs S and I some nice furniture which we use to fill in empty corners, now here is the problem.

We have been given a very nice chest of draws, it is solid wood, lined with paper and smells of lavender. Not a nice fresh smell of lavender ; but more the strong, wiffy  smell of lavender. You know the smell I mean, the one you smell when Auntie Hilda opens her purse to give you a sixpence. Mrs S gave the chest of draws a good clean and left all the draws open to air. Each day I give it a sniff and it still smells of old ladies handbags. In fact I am worried that the smell is permeating our bedroom. I find I am sniffing my arms to see if I have started to smell like Auntie Hilda.

 

Ok, I admit it, I stole this photo from Google. I was going to take a photo of our chest of draws but the smell of lavender put me off

Ok, I admit it, I stole this photo from Google. I was going to take a photo of our chest of draws but the smell of lavender put me off getting too close with my camera

Mrs Sensible has said I am not allowed to bleach the draws, leave them out in the rain or to put them in the cellar. Last night it did cross my mind to accidentally drop some firewood in the draws and accidentally drop a match in them. So please give me some help what can I do to get rid of the smell of Auntie Hilda?

 

PS. Mrs Sensible will fly home around the 27th of August, so if you suggest any treatments that she might not approve of, send your ideas now so I can try them before she gets back

Advertisements

69 thoughts on “Smelling like Auntie Hilda

  1. White vinegar should do the trick. The problem is finding it. I am told the Ferramenta might have “aceto bianco distillato.” Lucky AMERICAN me, I can buy the stuff at the embassy commissary, as my dollars are so devalued against the euro.

    Like

  2. I’d rather have borrowed lavender-stinking furniture than unscrupulous Roman landlords that I’m sure lift furniture from dustbins and do the amateur wiring themselves. That said, good luck!

    Like

  3. You need a camera with a good zoom lens…that way you wouldn’t have to get close to get a good picture.
    Sorry, I have no suggestions for the removal of the smells….maybe mothballs but then you’d be dealing with that smell. Good luck with that.

    Like

  4. Try vinegar – I’m not sure if it will actually work, but the smell of vinegar might be better than the smell of old lady. And it will make you dream of fish and chips 🙂 The worst smell in Riga is Eau de Homeless Person. If they happen to be on the same bus, I’m convinced my hair and clothes smell of homeless person for days.

    Like

  5. I’ve heard that newspaper will absorb smells. Crumple the pages and the stuff the drawers…it might take several days but it should make a difference. Good luck!

    Like

  6. I’m with the others on this…… try distilled white vinegar…….. and save the grappa for personal consumption only!

    Our history with the stuff is somewhat tainted, though! My husband’s grandfather, who immigrated to California from Ticino at the turn of last century brought with him his ‘grappa-making skills’…… or so he thought! Ended up blowing himself up during Prohibition while bootlegging!!!!!!!!!!! It’s been the ‘dirty little family secret’ ever since then, so don’t let on!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Like

  7. I thought that Mrs. Sensible was against moving to Sicily. Well done for convincing her otherwise – hasn’t taken long! How many decades is that?

    ** Disclaimer ** I don’t actually know what I’m talking about ** Disclaimer **

    I’ve read that charcoal briquettes are good for absorbing unwanted smells from car interiors. Maybe they’d work with your furniture? Just an idea. Don’t blame me if your house thereafter smells of a barbecue, mind. Try not to set fire to yourself in the process. Good luck.

    Like

    • Hi Andy you are correct Mrs S didn’t want to live I’m Sicily. But she Misses her mum
      as Dillon said The times are a changing. We just had a barbie, do you think I can use the old charcoal?

      Like

  8. I just had a thought….dryer sheets (that you put in the clothes dryer to soften your towels etc) like one here called Bounce (I swear I’ve seen it in the supermercato in Venice) are really good for removing the smell of stinky feet from shoes. Maybe you cold find some of those that you like the smell of (dryer sheets…not the stinky feet) and try then in your “draws”. Here we put a box of baking soda in our refrigerators to eliminate odors.
    Hope you get it taken care of because I’m sure that if your t-shirts started smelling of little old ladies Mrs. S would think you’d taken up part time work as a male escort for said little old ladies.;-)

    Like

  9. Hi PN 😀 I suggest a homeopathic remedy. Spray, deodorise and oil yourself in lavender. You will never be able to smell the chest of drawers ever again 😉 Ralph 😀

    Like

    • You are all to blame……. 😉
      To be honest it was amazing. Mrs Sensible accepted a job in Italy, The following month I put our house on the market, we had a couple of people who were interested and a week later it wasn’t possible to get a mortgage.

      We were amazed to see banks collapse….

      Like

  10. Allegra says you should use coffee grounds. I guess if it doesn’t work, you could then still use them for a coffee… Auntie Hilda’s aroma may even add a little something to the flavour! And once the smell’s gone can we please pop by for a visit?

    Taken from http://www.streetdirectory.com/food_editorials/beverages/coffee/practical_uses_for_coffee_grounds.html:

    “Dried coffee grounds can also be used as an odor neutralizer in other locations around the house, either keeping them in a container with ventilation in it or making small sachets for the grounds to go in. Add a drop or two of vanilla or some other scent that you prefer to the grounds if you want to help avoid the smell of coffee taking over whatever odor you are trying to remove.”

    Like

    • I might just try everyone’s ideas, a paste made from white vinegar, coffee grounds, a bit of newspaper etc and smear it in the draw.

      Mrs Sensible returns from Sicily at the end of the month, I HOPE. So you have a choice, come now and I can offer you a bowl of cornflakes with milk and a glass of wine or wait until the beginning of September and Mrs S will cook some nice pasta.

      See you soon
      PN

      Like

      • That sounds suspiciously like the sort of thing that might lead to a chemical explosion! It’s just a rental house, right?

        Although cornflakes and red wine does sound great, I think we’ll wait until September if that’s ok with you…

        See you soon!

        Liked by 1 person

        • I know all about explosions, Mrs S told me to stop cleaning the floors with my own developed mixture of cleaning fluids. Although the floors sparkled, we did have to vacate the house once or twice. 😉
          September sounds good, anyway I have now run out of cornflakes, I am now eating Mrs Sensible’s pack of Special K (Tastes like cardboard, give me Sugar Puffs any day).

          Like

          • OMG! I thought it was just me when the Special K I bought in Venezia last December tasted like cardboard! It has a very different flavor here. I even got the same flavor as I normally buy…Chocolaty Delight…with bits of chocolate. They must use a different grain when they make it.
            You need a little trip to your local supermercato for your own goodies or did she not leave the housekeeping money with you?

            Like

  11. Half a lemon is supposed to work to remove smells in the fridge so maybe it would work in your drawers?? PS When do Aunties start smelling like this as I am an auntie to two little loves and would like to know when I can expect the lavender smell to kick in – it wasn’t in the “Aunties Introduction Pack” when the the darlings were born!! ;o)

    Like

    • Hi Lizbeth,
      That is a very difficult question! I hate to say this, but you may already be too late. Find someone you trust and ask them if you already smell like Pecora Nera’s auntie Hilda. If they say you do, or… if they wrinkle their nose and lie through their teeth, I would suggest you read some of the above suggestions on how to get rid of the Auntie Hilda smell. I think bathing in white vinegar or in a bath full hot water and sliced lemons might help.
      Oh and I nearly forgot, I think you need to drink ground coffee and read a newspaper.

      Please let us all know how you get on.

      All the best

      PN

      Like

      • Too late?? Oh dear, no!! I’ll ask my youngest niece as she is always brutally honest – like telling me I had the largest arse of everyone in the swimming pool last year on holiday, bless her!! I hope you have more luck with your chest of drawers or are learning to live with the adorable lavender perfume!!! BTW They do say that after a while you stop smelling some smells as your brain just cancels them out as background so there is hope yet for both of us…….!!! Buon Ferragosto!! :o)

        Liked by 1 person

        • I think you should take your brutally honest niece to an options to have her eyes tested….

          I used a mixture of vinegar and water on the draws and it seemed to have done the trick, although after your comment I am concerned that I just can’t smell Lavender any more… Mrs S will be home in 10 days time so she will give them a sniff.
          Which reminds me I had better start cleaning and polishing the house… 10 days to return it from a bachelors pad to Mrs Sensible’s house. I will have to take the wine bottles and beer cans to the recycling bins.

          Like

      • Being personally allergic to tobacco smoke you may keep your cigars. Once upon a time I did enjoy a nice pipe (someone else smoking it….with tobacco….not any of that “funny stuff”).
        I am attempting not to take umbrage with the slap to Americans causing the world monetary crisis as most of us suffered just as much at the hands of the few. I promise not to vent on you though. I need you to be as entertaining as you are.
        Ciao,ciao, cara PN!

        Like

  12. Hi Pecora Nera, long time no write etc. I have a suggestion for your drawers based on my own experience here in Varese. Strong sunshine is great for removing stubborn orders! Leave the whole thing outside in full sunshine. Remove the drawers and leave them out separately, make sure they are in direct sunlight.
    (The problem this year might be finding enough decent sun hours though). I have removed smells from everything from kitchen units to Xmas trees and handbags in this fashion. I also spray them with a bit of Freeze to aid the process, but I’m sure it is the heat of the sun that performs the real magic, evaporating the odours very efficiently. In some cases it takes a few days of solid sunshine, but we have always been impressed with the result. Good luck.

    Like

Even you non wordpress bloggers can comment, your e mail is hidden.. Don't be shy.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s