They don't look dainty anymore. They are not housed in chained bottles of crystal hung on a châtelaine chain. But they still are made of ammonia and fulfill the same purpose. While the very phrase "smelling salts" conjures up the distant curse of having to wear tight Victorian corsets to the fainting point, they are still used today and even making a comeback...
In the past few years we've spotted a few brands reviving these "sal volatile" phials, but seeing smelling salts at CVS with the caption "New" just brings home the fact that these are going mainstream. Having said that, they are to be used with some caution.
The generic CVS smelling salts brand further uses lemon, lavender and nutmeg oils to act together with the 15% of ammonia. There are 10 individual doses per packet.
Sounds like real life-savers when driving late at night, overcoming drowsiness and reviving someone who has fainted, although a slap on the cheek is said to have a similar effect.
We sometimes carry essential oil blends in rollerballs - these are also becoming popular - but smelling salts sounds like even stronger medicine.
Have you used those?