That's right, Glade, those people who make scented crap for your home (which all smells awful to me anyway). I have noticed something unsettling about their television ads:
The woman they feature appears to have some serious issues.
Commercial 1: The woman (we'll call her Susan) is throwing a dinner party or other such get-together for her girlfriends. And what better way to make the room smell delightful than a Glade candle? But something is amiss. Lighting a candle for a party is a fairly normal act, yet Susan seems to be filled with shame over her choice of scented product -- she removes the label from the candle and furiously tries to get it off her hands and into the trash before her friends see it. Upon their arrival, she boasts of her fancy French candle (certainly not Glade, she insists) and is promptly revealed to be a liar by the Glade label stubbornly stuck to the back of her dress. Her friends laugh. Oh, Susan.
Commercial 2: Susan is taking a relaxing bath, Glade candle by her side. No giant label on this one (clearly she learned from her earlier follies and began purchasing the candles that would not betray her like the first one did). Then, the cell phone rings! She answers, it is clearly a friend -- one wonders if it is one of the dinner party attendees -- who asks where she is. Susan's eyes flash with inspiration. "The spa!" she declares, gazing lovingly at the candle. The glorious scents it provides are (presumably) leading her to such a relaxed and enjoyable state that surely this little lie will not be noticed! No one could tell that this level of contentment was achieved not in a fancy spa, but in her own bathroom! Ah, but then her husband knocks on the door and calls to her. The friend, who likely knows exactly what is going on, asks who that is. Susan blurts out another lie "My aromatherapist!" before hurriedly hanging up the phone. The friend, I assume, shakes her head and makes a "tsk tsk" noise of disappointment. Poor Susan. She wants so desperately to be accepted and admired by her peers, but her determination to hide her Glade fetish is getting a little pathetic.
Commercial 3: Busy morning! Susan ushers her children and husband out the door, babbling about the loads and loads of things she has to do today. Very, very busy, that Susan! Never stops for a moment! Her husband takes one look behind his shoulder as he leaves, worried. Susan's addiction to Glade products has reached the breaking point. He took away all the candles in the house, sobbing that he could not be second in her life after Sun Orchids or White Rainforest or any of the other scents whose names she moaned that one time in bed. He wants to trust her, now. He hopes she is strong enough to beat this.
The door is barely closed before she pulls out the Glade-brand Febreeze-clone and begins spraying everything around her in a glorious orgy of chemicals and artificial aromas. A beatific look of pleasure crosses her face. The candles may be gone, but she will get her fix elsewhere.
Glade cravings sated for now, Susan runs off to meet friends (perhaps, aware of her addiction, they want to keep an eye on her). She plays tennis, enjoys a meal, and relaxes with the friends who are still speaking to her after that disastrous dinner party where every dish was based on a different Glade fragrance. But the urge returns, and Susan heads back home to her precious. Her Glade. On the way home, she very likely stops at the store to collect more of the products she so desperately craves.
She barely has time to settle onto the couch (no doubt about to inhale deeply the sweet aroma of the cushion, sprayed earlier that day) when her family bursts through the door. They sniff the air -- they know that scent. The scent of shame, of weakness. Susan has lost the fight for yet another day. Her daughter puts on a brave face, pretending she doesn't know what's going on. Dad suggests that the house must smell so nice because Mom has been cleaning all day. The others nod. The lie is easier to bear. Susan enthusiastically agrees, but her husband has spied the bottle, and the damning Glade label. She has played him for a fool for the last time. He hides it behind his back and approaches Susan as the children make themselves scarce. They know what's coming.
So, clearly, we have here a woman whose addiction to these foul-smelling products is causing some difficulty in her life. She lies constantly regarding her Glade use, first trying to make it seem as though she just likes candles, then as though she's only using them socially (in a spa setting), and finally finding her fix hidden in other household products. Unfortunately, she is so hopped up on candle-juice that she isn't capable of keeping her lies consistent and believable.
And, you may argue, she doesn't have a problem! There's nothing illegal about using candles now and then! She's a grown woman and can do what she likes. And this is true, she can easily walk into a store and buy more candles whenever the fancy strikes her. But ask yourself this: Why the shame? Why the insistence that she is not using Glade products? Why only admit to doing so in a conspiratorial whisper to the camera? And if not covering for an addiction, she is, at the very least, a compulsive liar. Her friend on the phone might never have suspected something was amiss had Susan not felt compelled to lie about being at a spa. Using a regular candle rather than a fancy French one is no crime at all. In fact, her friends initially seem very accepting of Glade products at her dinner party. And who can blame a busy wife and mother for wanting an occasional day to herself to relax and have fun? No one would begrudge her that, particularly since the house apparently didn't need any cleaning to start with -- she did nothing but spray everywhere.
No, these commercials paint a heartbreaking portrait of compulsion, lies, and crippling addiction. This is not a product I want in my home, and this is not a person who can be relied upon to advise me on my home fragrance needs. I can only hope that the people over at A&E's Intervention start taking my calls about this devastating tragedy.