Smells like clean spirit
August 2, 2009 5:35 PM   Subscribe

Can someone identify the clean soap (or other laundry product) smell I keep noticing among hispanics?

For years and with dozens of encounters (with those from various latin countries) I have experienced said smell.

Characteristics of the smell: simple, sweet, soapy, clean

There may be slight variations, but from what I can remember it is basically the same among those who I've met, so I assume there is one (or a small number) of products that are most commonly used.

Thanks in advance!
posted by bradly to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (8 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I know I am going to hell for answering this question....

My sniffer is ridiculously accurate. I've noticed same.

Having lived in primarily Hispanic neighborhoods once or twice (apartment bldgs with shared laundry facilities) I can confidently say it is inexpensive laundry detergent. Can't name the brand, but I know it when I see the bottle or smell the results.

Ticket for one, going down....
posted by jbenben at 5:58 PM on August 2, 2009

Best answer: Could it be Ariel laundry detergent? Almost all of the Hispanic customers at our store purchases this.
posted by wiretap at 5:59 PM on August 2, 2009 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Definitely Ariel laundry detergent. Takes me straight back to my childhood in the Mission District!
posted by chez shoes at 6:26 PM on August 2, 2009

Best answer: Ariel is definitely a serious laundry detergent hispanics use. Being Puerto Rican, I might just say that may be it. I know the smell you speak of yet, am not that familiar w/ identifying it. Hmm, I will back up the assertion that it's laundry detergent and to check Ariel.
posted by lizarrd at 7:18 PM on August 2, 2009

Response by poster: After doing some more research, it sounds like Ariel detergent (and potentially Suavitel fabric softener) is what I'm after.

Thanks for the quick responses!
posted by bradly at 7:24 PM on August 2, 2009

Could also be Suavitel fabric softener.

A lot of Hispanic people around here use it. And apparently this guy hates it with the fiery passion of 1,000 suns, but I think it smells pretty good.
posted by howrobotsaremade at 7:28 PM on August 2, 2009 [3 favorites]

OK, I'm a Puerto Rican (NYC)and have no idea what you are talking about. Does my nose not work on my own people? I've never heard of Ariel either! My grandma likes Trend though and does use Suavitel. Both freak me out for some reason. This question makes me giggle.

Now I've got to find this Ariel stuff.
posted by mokeydraws at 7:17 AM on August 3, 2009

I have actually been able to identify houses that housed Latinos, sight unseen, by the smell of laundry detergent and delicious food simmering.

If you notice this smell very strongly around a house, there's a good chance they've got a laundry machine that's dumping the greywater right into the yard.

No, I'm not saying every Latino family does this, and I know it's horrible for the environment. But I'm a little Chicano girl from Califas and my family kept it's laundry machine in the backyard and the whole yard always smelled like Ariel.
posted by Juliet Banana at 8:49 AM on August 3, 2009

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