Susan Morrison: Don’t poo-poo my idea for gift

Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, hold the annual Garden Party at Holyrood Palace. Edinburgh. Pic: Jane Barlow
Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, hold the annual Garden Party at Holyrood Palace. Edinburgh. Pic: Jane Barlow
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Still struggling to find that last present for that special someone in your life? Well, worry no more. Get yourself down to the Pringle Mill in Leith. There you’ll find the ultimate gift. It’s discreetly hidden in the bit with all the tartan. I know, that doesn’t really narrow it down much.

Yes, the gift you’ve been waiting for. It’s Poo Pouri. At last, you or your loved ones can visit the loo confident that no whiffy waft will betray that last visit to the throne.

It’s a little spray to banish offensive bathroom odours. It comes in a variety of scents, from a sort of grapefruity citrusy version to a lavendery flowery one. They have names like Royal Flush and Daisy Doo, and they come in a handy handbag size. There’s a larger size for strategic stationing beside the lav. I guess that’s for the man in your life.

But hold on, Susan, you will be saying, surely this is just an air freshener? Why, a sustained blast from the old can of lemon scented whatever that is from Lidl is just the thing to disperse accidental pongs.

But No! I cry in return. This is no outdated technology such as pine scented Pong Be Gone, which, handily, does double duty as CS Gas in riot situations, and is also useful during spider in bath emergencies. It doesn’t actually kill spiders, but it does ensure that when you do manage to wash them down the drain, they are at least fragrant.

Poo Pouri is 21st century. It does not mask the ming. This is way cleverer than that. It traps the odours so offensive to family and workmates, by utilising a layer of essential oils. Never let it be said I have been influenced by advertising.

It’s actual science. It really works, and we know this, because there is a little advert on a little screen on a little telly. It is a work of genius. I don’t know who put this together, but it brightened my day up no end. You may not be the sort of person who needs to obliterate the evidence, like the Queen (I’ll bet she doesn’t need Poo Pouri. I’ll bet Prince Philip does) but do yourself a favour and track the ad down. It gets my vote for best short comedy of the year.

Mum’s the word for bad smells . .

Poo Pouri is American. That really comes as no surprise. It was invented by a woman – and not just any old woman, but the mother of two boys. Suddenly, it all makes sense to me. And to every other mum of sons in the world.

I suspect the American obsession with eliminating nasty smells comes from their past. When emigrants fell off the boat, having left, oh, say the squalor of the Old Town of Edinburgh behind, with its charming habit of Gardy-Loo, they probably said “Right, we’ll keep this place smelling just lovely, starting with us. Let’s invent deodorant. And air fresheners and Poo Pouri’.

Having left the stink of the Old World to live in the fragrant freshness of the New they became a nation obsessed with Not Smelling Bad, but, oddly, really don’t seem to mind if their police forces run amok on the streets of their cities shooting down anyone who might look faintly troublesome.

No trouble at The Mill, folks

Tartan-selling emporiums such as The Mill are wonderfully strange places. For one thing, they seem to be staffed by impossibly happy staff.

Perhaps they know they can go to the loo at any time without fear, because they have staff discount on Poo Pouri.

The customer numbers tend to veer from just me, staring at discounted cashmere, to suddenly being awash with apparently hundreds of tiny American ladies, even tinier Chinese ladies and faintly frightening large German ladies.

It’s not just an Edinburgh phenomenon. Only this year in Spean Bridge I watched as the Mill Shop there was nearly overwhelmed by an invasion force of American pensioners wearing red Stetsons. I have no idea why the head gear, but from the back it looked like a delegation of midget cardinals had decided to pop into Spean Bridge to buy a nifty travel rug for His Holiness.


Well, the tree has been up now for nearly a week, and I can report that most of the decorations have remained unmolested by Gertie, our little black cat.

One length of tinsel is regularly dragged across the living room floor, one bauble has been smashed and a small wooden Santa has been eaten. I think we’re getting off lightly. Last year she got a hold of the fairy. It was not a pretty sight.

I am sure, however, that your trees are lovely and your bathrooms are fragrant. And I wish you all a wonderful Christmas!