Put Your Tree on the Straight and Narrow


It's just about time for the annual Christmas hassle. No, not shopping. How to get the tree to stand straight.

This year there's an answer. Swivel Straight is a new, one-of-a-kind tree stand that enables one person to set up and straighten a tree in a minute or two.

With the tree lying on its side, slide the trunk into the stand's separate trunk receptacle. Then, spin a specially designed ring to secure the three clamps around the trunk. Insert the receptacle holding the trunk into the device's 24-inch base.

When the tree is standing inside the base, depress the foot pedal at the bottom and a swiveling action straightens the tree. When the pedal is released, the tree locks into the stand. The pedal slides into a storage compartment in the base.

Swivel Straight weighs 13 pounds and is constructed of green heavy-duty polymers that don't rust. It holds up to a 12-footer with a trunk diameter of 5 3/4 inches, and has a six-quart water reservoir.

Swivel Straight ($89.95) is sold nationwide at nursery and garden centers, hardware and home stores and through seven catalogues. Or you may call the manufacturer, Country Line Limited, at (800) 692-2656 for a store near you. Or order from one of the catalogues: Plow & Hearth, (800) 627-1712; Safety Zone, (800) 999-3030; Frontgate, (800) 626-6488; SuperLife, (800) 865-7575; Domestications, (800) 746-2555; Good Catalog, (800) 225-3870, and Langenbach's, (800) 362-1991.


Dry Goods: Two new unusual personal cleansing products, Bath In A Bottle and Salon In A Bottle, have been introduced by Los Angeles-based Bottled Hygiene Inc.

They clean, deodorize and refresh your skin and hair without water--ideal for campers and boaters, and in home-care and hospital environments or for bathing and shampooing if an earthquake or other occurrence cuts off your water supply.

The products are applied directly to the skin and hair and do not need to be rinsed off. Salon In A Bottle leaves no residue on the hair, unlike currently marketed dry shampoos. Bath In a Bottle is a moisturizer as well as a cleanser.

Developed by a pharmacist, both products contain no detergents, alcohol, acids, dyes, salts or animal proteins and have been tested by independent dermatologists to assure they are safe for babies, as well as adults. Both contain botanical extracts such as chamomile, sage, nettles and rosemary and are soap-free and biodegradable. None of the company's products is tested on animals.

A pair of 12-ounce containers of the products is available ($9, plus $2 shipping and handling) from Bottled Hygiene Inc., (800) 995-2759.


Saving Face: If you thought Gillette's Sensor razor was great when it was introduced in 1989, check out the new SensorExcel that seems to give an even closer shave.

This new razor, introduced in the United States last month after successfully launching in Europe and Canada in 1993, has "microfins" that help the facial hairs stand up so they'll be cut more closely and comfortably.

These are made of "elastomeric" material, a Gillette representative says. That translates to a high-tech rubber-like substance. There are new grips on the handle made from the same material, so the razor will not slip while you're shaving.

SensorExcel ($3.99) is available nationwide in drugstores, supermarkets and mass-merchandise outlets. Refill cartridges are $4.49 for a five-pack; $8.49 for a 10-pack.

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