Courteney Cox has a new line of pricey scented cleaning products, because of course she does, and she recently put an assortment of them in a box full of flowers to give to Ellen DeGeneres on her final birthday episode of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” because of course she did.
After two years of COVID-19, Cox explained at the time, she thought it would be nice to create some super-deluxe dish soap, counter spray and hand wash so people could take care of their homes the way they take care of their bodies. “These are beauty products for the home.”
It’s got to be tough to keep a straight face while calling dish soap and counter spray “beauty products for the home,” especially after gushing with DeGeneres over their shared high-end florist, but Cox is an actor, and “fancy-ass cleaning products” just doesn’t have the same ring.
I received a free sample set of Cox’s Homecourt brand in three of the four available fragrances — Steeped Rose, Cipres Mint and Neroli Leaf (Cox’s signature scent, Cece, was not represented) — and I will happily testify that they all smell absolutely divine and do exactly what dish soap, counter spray and hand wash are supposed to do, i.e., make things clean.
They are also quite expensive. The 16-ounce counter spray or dish soap cost $30, the 12-ounce hand soap $20. Sets of all three are available for $65, which would be the way to go, savings-wise. Though if you are willing to shell out 65 bucks for a few bottles of cleaning products, savings may not be your top priority. You also probably have the kind of home in which Homecourt’s sleek packaging would make visual sense. I would have to redo my entire kitchen.
Whether fashion, perfume or tequila, celebrities have been launching and endorsing expensive products forever because, quite frankly, the only point of associating a product with a celebrity is to give it instant luxury status. How do you think the whole influencer culture started? Who doesn’t want the same perfume/makeup/moisturizer as some rich and famously beautiful person? Perhaps that perfume/makeup/moisturizer plays some key role in that person’s wealth/fame/beauty. Perhaps wealth/fame/beauty is just an eye-shadow choice away.
Neroli Leaf dish soap could be the scattering of magic pixie dust we all need to find a job that pays us $1 million a week.
Sometimes, those products are available in Target; most often, they are in stores with a more A-list price point. We all understand that if we want to smell like a famous person (or, in Cox’s case, have our sinks smell like they belong to a famous person), we will have to pay famous-person prices.
Oprah and Gwyneth have made an industry of anointing certain high-priced items as must-haves. In this aspirational world, where brownies cost $25 and aromatic diffusers $125 (oils not included), Cox’s $30 counter spray is not at all out of line. It is also almost alone in a wide-open market. Home fragrance is a booming industry, but most lines restrict themselves to candles, diffusers and other noncleaning room fresheners. Last year, Kris Jenner and Chrissy Teigen launched Safely, a line of cleaning products, but Teigen subsequently stepped away amid accusations of cyberbullying, and Safely is more focused on being green than posh.
So Cox seems well positioned to become the queen of pricey, perfumed clean. Indeed, Homecourt.co sold out of its products in a matter of weeks.
I understand why. Unlike Cox or Monica (the character she played on “Friends”), I am not a self-identified clean freak. But after spending way too much money on scented candles over the past two years, I too turned my attention to cleaning products.
Despite having been raised to buy the biggest bottles of the least fancy brands, I became one of those people who rejoice in the seasonal scents of Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning spray, dish soap and hand wash, particularly the Acorn Spice and Iowa Pine, which I actually bought online when my local stores ran out.
I also own, through gifting, a bottle of Jo Malone hand soap that is so plush and expensive I cannot bring myself to use it. It sits in its lovely box beneath my sink, and when I’m feeling blue, I take it out and sniff it, imagining some splendid future lifestyle in which using it would make sense.
Obviously, I am part of Homecourt’s target demographic, albeit on the low end, income-wise.
Which may be why I can’t get past the price. Meyer’s products cost around four bucks, which
is a pittance compared to Homecourt. As much as I loved the various fragrances, it’s difficult not to think of $30 dish soap as literally money down the drain.
On the other hand, compared with the crypto shilling Reese Witherspoon, Matt Damon and Larry David have done recently, it’s impossible not to respect Cox for producing something that provides an immediate benefit and actually, you know, exists. Those dishes are clean, and for a minute or two, my kitchen smells as if it belongs to a rich person. As if Jennifer Aniston might drop by at any minute and lean her well-moisturized elbows on the top of my sparkling, fragrant countertops.
Which is not, I suppose, a bad feeling to have between unloading the dishwasher, picking up the paper towel the puppy has shredded and hitting a deadline.
Perhaps Homecourt will become the next Diptyque candle — too expensive to buy for yourself but perfect for a special occasion. Who wouldn’t want to receive a gift that makes cleaning the kitchen feel aspirational? That your life’s a joke, you’re broke, but everything’s okaaaaay because, well, Cipres Mint, man.
It’s also a near-perfect way to tell someone you love that it’s time to stop living like a slob and do the dishes already. And if that works, well, who can put a price on miracles?
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.