A Letter to Target About the Smell of its Cleanser

by Dave Gauer

An image of my paper letter to Target

December 18, 2010

Target Corporation
1000 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 88403

Dear Target,

I am writing to report an issue I have with one of your products. The product in question is the "up & up deep cleanser" face wash (pictured). My issue is not with the functionality of the cleanser. As far as I know, it cleans my face just fine. The problem is the smell.

My first use of the cleanser was a bit of shock. As soon as I rubbed a dollop of it on my face, I was completely overpowered by the stench. It was the scent of flowers, but in a dense, mace-like strength. As soon as it was near my nose, I was coughing and my eyes were watering. Rinsing it off gave instant relief, and I was free of the cloying odor.

I must mention that I do not typically suffer from an exaggerated sensitivity to perfumes or other odors. In fact, my sense of smell is not particularly good. I had a short period of disbelief. Since the scent did not linger in the room, I soon found myself wondering if it had really happened. I thought perhaps I had merely suffered a temporary olfactory hallucination.

I tried it again in the shower later. Soon I was sputtering and trying to breathe through my mouth. Naked and alone, with your product all over my face, I suffered a deep sense that my life had taken a turn for the worse. As before, rinsing the cleanser away gave me instant relief from the stink and I felt as if the world had suddenly become a better, brighter place.

Perhaps this experience of catharsis is what your product engineers had in mind, but I think this should be labeled clearly on your bottle. I see that the last item on the Ingredients list is "Fragrance" which is a wholly inadequate word to describe the exhuming power of the smell. I humbly suggest the following alteration to the text on the front label:

Helps remove dirt, oil and makeup; leaves skin clean with no residue; purifies your mind with a searing blast of lavender and rinses away with all of your earthly sins; oil free.

On the off chance that the smell is stronger than intended or a mistake altogether, here is what I believe might be the batch number, which I found printed on the bottom of the bottle: 9352290A.


Dave's signature with a heart

David Gauer