Growing up, we had a thing in our house that we just called "the cedar chest". Little did I know it was a "hope chest" - something I had heard of in old TV shows, but never understood. I never knew what a hope chest is until this morning when I threatened an unpaid intern with dismissal if he didn't look it up for me. Until today, all I knew about them is that they smell nice.
the "lazy person's knowledge source"... "A hope chest, dowry chest, cedar chest, or glory box is a chest used to collect items such as clothing and household linen, by unmarried young women in anticipation of married life." I never knew that. I don't think there are many people who have these any more, at least not by the "hope chest" name. Back in 1950, the year of this ad, women didn't have - shall we say - many options. Marriage was just about everything they were expected to want, and the hope chest was the thing a girl used to store up her linens and stuff, in anticipation for the Big Day.
Now women can do lots of things, such as "have a career" and "leave the house". A hope chest is an anachronism, especially when you consider that things like bed sheets and towels are pretty standard wedding gifts, and don't need to be stashed away in long anticipation of marriage.
Hope/cedar chests are nearly always made of wood, with a lining of cedar. Why? Cedar wood contains cedar oil, which smells great to humans, but is gross to bugs and mold. So, if you surround your linens with cedar, they'll stay moist and delicious forever.
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Incense often is made with cedar. You can burn cologne too, but doing so lacks the relaxed, long-burning control of incense. It tends to go up like gasoline. Plus, once you light it, you'll be adding the smell of your terror to the room's olfactory cocktail, and that is the world's worst cologne of all.
The Lane ad calls a cedar chest a "Love Gift". Double-you Tee Eff? You may give gifts to people you love, but you don't go calling it a Love Gift. That's creepy. You know who would do that. Rachel Dratch's and Will Ferrell's "Lovers" characters from Saturday Night Live, that's who.