I don't have a lot of hard-and-fast rules when it comes to what's "allowed" in my kitchen. All the dishware has to match? Nah, I love to pick up pretty, one-off plates and bowls on my travels. No cats on the counters? It's still a work in progress (going on eight years). My cat is sassy and set in her ways, so no amount of clapping, yelling, or squirting with a water gun keeps her from jumping up there.
The one thing I feel strongly about, though? There's a life-long ban on scented hand soap.
This kind of goes against other wisdom from fellow editors on this site, who extoll the virtues of splurging on a fancy hand soap to brighten up your kitchen, or who swear by their favorite affordable peppermint soap.
I just can't get on board with it. To put things in context, I'm a bit of a germaphobe, so I wash my hands a lot throughout the day — especially when I'm cooking. When I'm washing produce or chopping onions or slicing cheese, I don't want my hands to smell like lavender, eucalyptus, or rosemary — I want them to smell totally neutral. Will the food I'm preparing pick up the scent of the soap? Probably not, but I don't want to chance it.
When I'm serving something that doesn't require utensils — hello, veggie burgers! — this is especially important. I recently washed my hands before dinner at a restaurant with the strongest-smelling cucumber-melon hand soap. I had a margarita pizza for dinner, and every time I brought a slice to my mouth, the overwhelming smell of that soap seriously messed with my tastebuds. In case you're wondering, cucumber-melon margarita pizza is just not appealing.
So as long as I'm in my kitchen, the hand soap will be free and clear of all scents.
Buy my favorite: Clearly Natural Liquid Hand Soap, Unscented, $15 for 3 (12-ounce) bottles
Where do you fall in this debate: Team Unscented or Team Scented?