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Monday, February 26, 2007

Limon Kolonyasi


One of my favorite things to be introduced to when we came to Turkey was lemon cologne. This product is a multi-purpose wonder! Our first encounter with lemon cologne came our first week in Turkey, March 2002. We were leaving a furniture store after shopping all day for beds, couches, tables, chairs, etc. We were tired. We were cold. And evidently our hands needed refreshment. The store clerk held out the bottle to us, and thankfully, we had a friend with us so that we could follow his lead. He cupped his hands and let the man pour a small puddle of lemon cologne into his hand. He proceeded to "wash" his hands in the cologne letting the excess drip out of his hands and down his arm or onto the floor. Okay then. My turn. Cup my hands. Smile at the nice man pouring the cologne into my hands...all the while thinking that several people could wash their hands in the amount of cologne he is pouring into my hands. Begin "washing" my hands. Continue smiling even though my hands are now on fire because they are really dry and someone just poured what seems to be alcohol on them. Glance at Brian who is "washing" his hands and seems to have a genuine smile on his face...he must love this stuff. Let my hands fall to my sides and drip dry.

Later we found out that lemon cologne is basically alcohol with a lemon scent. People here use it for a multitude of things. It is offered to guests when they visit. I have often wondered if it is because the people being visited think that the people doing the visiting need to be disinfected from outside germs when they enter the house. Who knows? Why would we be given lemon cologne after furniture shopping? I don't know. After eating at restaurants they either offer lemon cologne to the people at the table or pass out packaged wet wipes that have lemon cologne on them. I understand that after eating one might feel the need to wash his hands. That makes sense to me. I have been asked by repairmen if I have lemon cologne which they then used to clean pipe fittings. Interesting. Erica sometimes uses it as an astringent after washing her face. I have squirted some on the bathroom counter and toilet seat and had a kid wipe it off with a paper towel for an instant clean when we were expecting last minute guests. I've also collected the wipes from the restaurants and carry some in my purse at all times. I use them after grocery shopping, because the stores are very dusty here. I always feel the need to wash my hands after grocery shopping. When we have had sick kids they have been used to wipe doorknobs and light switches with the hopes of killing some of the germs involved. I love this stuff. It does everything! I'm sure there are long forgotten reasons for the tradition of lemon cologne. It was probably originally used for hand washing when there was no running water in houses. Now that people have bathrooms and both liquid and bar soap in their homes it might not be as necessary. But I say, "Long live lemon cologne!"

18 comments:

Gina said...

Wonder if anybody has tried to drink it....accidentally of course!

Elizabeth said...

oh my, Natalie, you crack me up! I loved this post! you have definitely been in Turkey too long! :)

Anonymous said...

Natalie - After visiting Mersin for 2 weeks, I left with 6 bottles of lemon cologne that I rcvd as gifts to bring back home. Tom loves it, but I must admit once I returned to the states and had so many choices of soaps and lotions - the bottles were collecting dust. So thanks for the new ideas on how to use this product - we do love the smell of lemon!!

Anonymous said...

It sounds like a cross between Purell and Jean Nate (do you remember that stuff???)
Dawn

Dixon Ailesi said...

Jean Nate...I think I do remember that. It was like cheapo perfume if I am remembering correctly!

Saifuddin said...

BismillaharRahmanirRahim

as-salaamu 'alaikum. limon kolonyasi is generally used for hands, face, neck and sniffed to retain alertness.

The reason you may find it being used in odd places is primarily because of religious nuances associated with cleanliness. There are certain conditions which have become deeply ingrained in Turkish lifestyle from Islam as a result of the Ottomans.

Its nice to see another American appreciate limon kolonyasi.

-Saifuddin

Natalie said...

saifuddin - welcome to my blog, and thanks for the limon kolonyasi education! i do appreciate it for sure!

BS said...

Thanks for this info, someone gave me a bottle of lemon cologne and I had no idea what it was for!

Natalie said...

bs - glad to be of service! and i really do love this stuff!

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with you about this amazing product, i take it travelling with me as an instant freshener. Amazing. Running low and am devastated!!!

Natalie said...

anon - i didn't bring any back from turkey with me, because my bags were full. i so wish i had some!

Anonymous said...

limon kolonyasi is not only used for hygine. but it is a culture in turkey. guests are so important in turkish culture. so they want to please them by serving wonderful food, sweets...etc. and lemon cologne is used for the same purpuse. that`s to make the visitors pleased and relaxed.

i love limon kolonyasi very much too. u feel fresh and happy with it.

Barbetha said...

So glad to find this blog. I was looking up Limon Kolonyasi and found it. I wish I could find it(Limon Kolonyasi)in Spokane Washington. I love the stuff! A military family moved and gave me some, guess I'll be checking out ethnic grocery stores and such. Any ideas, limme know.
Shalom
Barb F in Spokane

Anonymous said...

We just came back from Turkey, and came back with a small stock. I just love this. Our tour guide also said this can be used on itchy mosquito bites. I tried it, and was pleasantly surprised that the itching stopped almost immediately. Love this.

Anonymous said...

I was at my local pizza place (in Connecticut, US), when I saw a strange plastic bottle in the display cooler where they keep cans of soda. When I asked what it was, the owner just said "here, hold out your hand" and poured some into my hands. Then he instructed me to splash it on my arms and neck. I was shocked how good it smelled. The next time I came in he gave me a bottle. Good stuff!

Anonymous said...

I have just received a bottle. Oh. So cool

marissa ore said...

Been to Tuekey aand was being bitten by flys and mosquitoes anyway, after walking around the the market a young lad came over with this lemon stuff called yelken lemon eau de cologue this stuff was a god sent which reduce the sting and even sun burn if you ar e ever in Turkey buy this lemon spray or for cheapness you why not buy some tooth mouth wash but into bottle spray and used this as this works also.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for educating me on this it certainly smells good and relaxes you