Help! How do I remove perfume from my skin?

We’ve all been there before. We’re curious to try a new fragrance after smelling its gorgeous scent on our friend, or the SA at a counter sprays their latest perfume on a card, hands it to us and we breathe in its wonderful scent, or simply read about it online and think the notes of the scent were interesting and to our tastes. But the moment we spray it on our skin, we realize we made a mistake.

On us, the fragrance stinks. Really bad! We can’t really go around smelling that awful and water and soap aren’t enough to remove the horrible smell, so what’s a girl to do? Well, I’ve tried several things in the past and here’s what worked for me. Of course some fragrances are easier to remove than others so you might have to experiment with the following methods to find the one that works best for you.

1. Wipe it off with alcohol

Probably the most well-known method to remove fragrance but to be used with caution as alcohol can be drying and irritating to the skin. In addition, it doesn’t remove very strong scents well. Still, it’s worth a shot. Simply soak a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol (witch hazel or unflavoured wodka will do the trick too), place it on the point of your skin where you applied the fragrance and wipe off.

2. Deodorant and laundry detergent

Yes, you read that right. This is a tip I’ve picked up from Robin of Now Smell This and it works really well. First, take an unscented deodorant and apply it on your skin where your previously sprayed the perfume. Wait a few minutes and than wash it off with a fragrance-free heavy-duty laundry detergent like Tide Free.

3. Make a paste with baking soda

Another inexpensive way to get rid of fragrance is by creating a paste with baking soda and warm water. Remember to use equal parts of both ingredients (half a cup of each is usually enough). Once ready, rub the paste on your skin, wait about ten minutes and then rinse off with warm (not hot) water.

4. White vinegar and olive oil

Another DIY recipe with ingredients found in your kitchen. This time, mix white vinegar with olive oil, rub it on your skin and wait 10 minutes. Wash it off with warm water and then clean skin with soap and water.

Do you know of any other way to remove perfume from your skin?

14 Comment

    • Stavroula, thanks. I only learned it a couple of years ago by googling cos I was desperate to get rid of an awful-smelling scent. I don’t even remember the name though lol.

  1. Thanks for the tips! I’m sure that I’ll keep them in midn when I’m too confused and mistake a niffy perfume for men for a lovely scented perfume for ladies. That’s so embarrassing and I can’t forget the awful smell since then. *urgs*

    • Mylanqolia, I actually love using perfumes for men. They are woody and musky, just how I like them. It’s the overly-sweet floral women scents I can’t stand lol. Although I tried some men perfumes that smelled awful on me and these tips helped a lot! I hope they will help you too.

  2. best method tried so far: hydrogen peroxide, the standard disinfecting kind (10% or 12%). it works like a charm! just be careful not to discolour fabrics and such.
    It also works beautifully to deodorize/sanitize bathroom surfaces (i.e. around cat litter box, etc.), and it’s dirt cheap.

    • Fuzzyleo, thanks a lot fo the tip. I will try it the next time I try a perfume that ends up smelling awful on me!

    • Dao, I’m glad that works for you. I tried that many times but it only reduces the smell on me instead than completely eliminate it. :(

  3. What great tips! I had no idea how to remove a nasty scent. Wish I’d known this when my DD and i were visiting Saks Fifth Avenue on our first trip to NYC. She was only ten and kept complaining about the “kamikaze perfume ladies,” spraying scent on everyone within reach. Since we are both very scent-sensivitive, it would have been great to have a way to rid ourselves of the fallout. I’m loving your blog.

    • Moushka, thanks, I’m glad you enjoy my blog and that you’ve found these tips useful. I love perfume but it’s still annoying when the perfume ladies just spray anyone at random. They should ask people if they want to be sprayed first as there are lots of people who are sensitive or allergic to it.

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