Photo: Courtesy of intelligentnutrients.comAnne-Marie Guarnieri, Allure magazine
As a kid, I used to get endless mosquito bites, regardless of how many layers of DEET-infused Off! Deep Woods I shellacked myself with. To this day, that smell reminds me of the angry red welts that dotted every exposed area I didn't spray, and itching that would wake me up in the middle of the night.
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Now, even though the EPA has deemed DEET, the active ingredient found in many bug-repelling sprays, to be generally safe, I'd rather steer clear of it-but the scent alone is enough to keep me from using the stuff. No matter how much pine or other fragrance they cram in there, all I smell is chemicals. No wonder it works on mosquitos: apparently DEET keeps them away from us by confusing their sense of smell.
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So when Horst Rechelbacher of Intelligent Nutrients gave me a bottle of his Aromatic Bug Repellant a few weeks ago, I was over the moon, but skeptical. How on earth was an organic blend of natural oils like cedarwood, peppermint, and clove going to do the trick? It smells too good to be a bug repellant! So this weekend, which was the first real buggy one we've had at the beach, I had my family, who were visiting, try it. Nobody reported any bites the next morning, and best of all, everyone smelled like a fancy candle-not like household cleaner. Those bugs don't know what they're missing.