National Park air fresheners


ALASKA - Denny Akeya, a native of the St. Lawrence Island village of Savoonga, wears his opinion on his chest. Courtesy Loren Holmes, Alaska Dispatch


Marketers can sell anything, it seems, even metaphors. You can now buy an air freshener that mimics not the true scent of a national park, which might be a noxious blend of car exhaust and smoke from surrounding wildfires, but the very “spirit of our nation’s pristine treasures.” Air Wick’s take on spirit in the Smoky Mountains happens to be “warm spice and twilight;” at Acadia National Park it’s a foray into the kitchen for the aromas of “sweet vanilla and pumpkins,” while at Shenandoah National Park, the smells are “cedarwood and cinnamon spice.” Without a smidgeon of irony, the National Park Foundation says it collaborated with Air Wick on the new line “so you can enjoy the scents of fall in your home.” Saves on gas, too. 

Not to be outdone, Portland, Ore.-based Antler & Co. has come up with a box of little sticks that you ignite, blow out and then waft the smoke “onto your hipster beard.” Voila! Thanks to Campfire Cologne, reports, you emanate the smell of a sooty campfire without actually having to hike anywhere or put up a tent. The makers call the smoke permeating a man’s beard nothing less than a “nostalgic ode to cooking over the fire, secret swimming holes and the unending days of youth. Use it frequently, transport yourself, live the dream.” Also saves on gas. 


A couple in Roundup, Mont., was apparently under the influence of drugs when they called the police to report a bleeding intruder who seemed to be expiring on a bed. Well, not exactly, says The Associated Press, though there was a bed of 262 growing marijuana plants into which Rachael Hanlon “fired four guns while her husband reloaded them and cleared jams.” Federal charges are pending against the misguided couple.

Speaking of guns and unlikely associations, the front page of the Daily Inter Lake of Kalispell, Mont., featured an ad for a raffle that would benefit the Stillwater Christian School. Only 1,000 tickets would be sold, and the lucky winner — selected at a Shoot Out event — would take home a fancy assault rifle valued at $905.

Tips and photos of Western oddities are appreciated and often shared in this column. Write [email protected].

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