'Tis the season — pumpkin spice season, that is. That most autumnal of spices seems to gain more territory outside the food aisle each September, and at this point, it's infiltrated pretty much every aspect of human existence. But in the event that the air fresheners, beauty products, and lattes aren't enough to sate your pumpkin-starved soul, spray-on pumpkin spice has been created so that, like a basic King Midas, you can add that magical combination of spices to everything you see. I ask you: When will the madness end?
Described as a "complement or substitute to holiday spice powders," Simple Beyond's Pumpkin Spray-On Spice retails for $10.99. Like most pumpkin spice products, it doesn't actually contain pumpkin; instead, the organic flavor spray contains the essential oils for traditional pumpkin pie spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. No longer are the basic masses forced to wait for the next questionable pumpkin spice product to be invented by some corporate bigwig — at last, the power is in the people's hands. Instead of sprinkling pumpkin spice powder on your food/household items/unsuspecting family members, you can simply aim, press a button on the non-aerosol can, and spray them with the culinary embodiment of holiday cheer.
Depending on whether you love or hate pumpkin spice, this is either a dream or a nightmare come true. To be fair, a little context helps make the product make sense: Simply Beyond specializes organic, spray-on herbs and spices. Given the universal obsession with pumpkin spice, it's no wonder the brand started offering its own take on the magical combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. In fact, the pumpkin spice spray is part of a holiday-themed set that also includes cinnamon and gingerbread spice. (You can buy all three for $29.)
It's nothing that hundreds, if not thousands, of other companies haven't done before. But judging from the tidal wave of disapproval from people who think pumpkin spice has gone too far, that's exactly the problem.
Let's face it: After Sep. 1, pumpkin spice (which really should be called pumpkin pie spice, but that's an issue for another time) is the name of the game. Technically, fall doesn't begin until the autumn equinox, but these days, it unofficially begins as soon as pumpkin spice products start appearing on shelves. As the years have gone by, these products keep getting more and more specific. On top of the beloved Pumpkin Spice Latte, praised be its name, we have pumpkin spice candles. Deodorant. Skin highlighter. Potato chips. Donuts. Popcorn. Cough drops.
When one brave journalist recently bought and used every pumpkin spice product she could find for a week, she seemed like she could have used some pumpkin spice vodka by the experiment's end:
"You don’t even have to be human to live the PS lifestyle. [Pumpkin spice] dog biscuits ensure that a Basic’s best friends will get seasonal treats too. My dogs loved them! They also love eating garbage straight out of the can. They also love licking their own butts."
If the barrage of pumpkin spice items is wearing you down emotionally and spiritually, there's hope. According to 1010 data, an analytics technology company, the number of pumpkin spice products available online rose 49 percent, but sales have only risen 21 percent. In other words, yes, there actually are more and more pumpkin spice products every year — but people aren't buying them. The end, my exhausted friends, may be in sight.
Then again, maybe pumpkin spice season is your favorite time of year. If so, pumpkin spice spray is ready and waiting for you at Simply Beyond. As for myself, I think I'll stick with a latte and dream of the days when pumpkin spice was only used in pie.