Maybe it's a lot to ask for, but going outside in the summertime should not involve a choice between smelling like a toxic chemical spill or getting eaten alive by mosquitos. Sure, the industrial-strength aerosol cans of repellant might keep you bite-free (and are fun to wield around pretending like you're some sort of badass graffiti artist), but feel a tad hardcore for your average backyard BBQ. In these instances, we find it's best to keep around some sprays sophisticated enough to work like they should, while staying DEET-free and relatively fumeless (hint: the baby aisle is often the way to go). Our office-wide testing led to small but mighty selection of sprays that smell (dare we say it?) good. Or at least better than you'd expect.
California Baby Bug Repellent: When in doubt, try baby products. We picked up this gentle, natural bug deterrent in hopes that it would smell as nice as an infant, while packing a protective punch. Upon spraying it in the Gloffice, one visitor announced it smelled like “baby wipes,” but, in a good way. The finish is dry, but not in the sticky, aerosol sense, and reapplication is required every two hours.
Intelligent Nutrients Perfume Spray: Admittedly, it was the adorable baby vampire-bat on the bottle that had us all reaching for this self-proclaimed “aromatic experience.” But the certified-organic, minty, slightly oily concoction mixes geranium and cedar for an effect that’s more moody, woodsy perfume than pungent citronella candle. Plus, it leaves your skin a little more moisturized. Intelligent Nutrients suggests spritzing it all over yourself and your “personal effects,” to prepare for two hours of bite-free, or close to it, bliss.
The Honest Co. Bug Spray: This one is a little on the sweet side, but the once-again certified-organic blend of rosemary, citronella, and wintergreen makes up one of the purest and safest repellants out there. It's also hydrating and baby-friendly, which, because it bears repeating, is always the way to go.
Mrs. White’s Unstung Hero: Ah, punsss. Once you get past the clever name and its très chic package, we couldn’t stop sniffing this so-called “repellant.” It’s lemony, like real Southern sweet tea, and is so lightweight it doesn't feel like you're wearing anything. Depending on how deep South you venture, reapply every two to four hours.
Here's wishing you a welt- and itch-free tomorrow, ladies and gents!