SCRUBBER! What To Do In An Emergency

Hi Perfume Posse! You know the scenario. Feeling adventurous? You loved it on the card. How about a big spritz down your shirt, on your arms or even just the back of your hand. What smelled beautiful and enticing on cardboard has suddenly turned very nasty on your skin. A chemical reaction of titanic proportions has sent that scent to ten times its size and projecting like a beast. Instant headache. Cue dry retching, eyes watering, burning skin, burning nostrils or whatever reaction you get from the baddies. You have scored yourself a SCRUBBER!

SCRUBBER! What To Do In An Emergency

SCRUBBER Emergency_plate WikiMediaWikiMedia

It’s happened to most of us. A fragrance ends up being unwearable for a number of reasons. So how can you get rid of a SCRUBBER? There are a lot of different ways out there on the internet and different people have come up with a plethora of ways to eradicate the stench. Sadly one of the things that tends to happen is that the offending note is not merely unattractive to you, it also can have a scent life equal to that of plutonium (all too often the case). Here are a few that I like.

Wash The Area: In the best cases all you need do is go wash the sprayed area and you are OK.

Wash and Loofah The Area: Washing didn’t work, sometimes a loofah will take your skin and the scent far away.

Alcohol: Fragrance comes diluted in alcohol so it’s a perfect redilution agent. They say to clean a mess take the offending thing back to its original state for fastest removal.

Oils: Because the fragrant part of the scent is oil based any oil will grab the particles and dilute them enough that with a wash they will be gone. This does mean that you may be smelling a little bit of olive oil throughout the rest of the day.

Moisturiser: Should you be stuck out and about and this happens even your hand moisturiser will be pretty effective in getting the offending scent to manageable levels for washing off.

Moist Towelettes/Baby Wipes: They are alcohol and oil based so a nice combination of above. They do tend to leave quite a bit of their own scent behind though . No biggie if all you want is the offending frag gone.

SCRUBBER Nicolas Raymond Biohazard Grunge Sign - Sepia FlickrFlickr

What are your methods and remedies for the dastardly SCRUBBER?
Portia xxx



  • benvenuta says:

    I spread solid deodorant on the are and wash it off with soap. Usually works well.

  • SmellyDandelion says:

    Now I don’t mind the occasional well made oud frag, but m.micallef 1707 noir (which is a fortnum & mason exclusive) came in a mini bottle with a difficult screw cap. Did I mention it is disgusting. No? Well, it is horrid and it all landed on my jumper, arms, hand, chest…

    Jumper in the wash, quick soap and water and I’m already late for work. No one said anything in the office, bless them so polite, but I could not continue to suffocate myself. Thankfully some natural balm in a tin (which I usually use as hand moisturizer) followed by anti-bacterial wipes to all offending area helped.

    Great coincidence that this happened yesterday and you posted this yesterday too!

    • Portia says:

      OH NOOO! What a dilemma SmellyDandelion,
      Did you get the clothes in the wash and change or did you suffer your scent all day?
      Portia xcx

  • teri says:

    I’m with Tandaina. If I’m at home, I run for the Dawn. If I’m out, I keep a tiny bottle of lemongrass oil in my handbag. Lemongrass is what I use to vanquish onion and garlic odors off my fingers when I’m cooking and it works on scrubber scents, too.

  • eldarwen22 says:

    There are a couple methods that I employ if my perfume eating skin doesn’t take care of it. First, I use rubbing alcohol and see if that works. If rubbing alcohol doesn’t work, Dawn dish soap takes care of the rest. But it’s been a while since I’ve had a scrubber.

  • tandaina says:

    Dawn dish soap. It takes spilled crude oil off sea life. It takes wine and chocolate stains out of my clothes and it obliterates perfume. I just wash the area with Dawn and good hot water, there is usually no scent left at all afterward.

  • Hamamelis says:

    I scrub by first applying coconut oil and then rinse it off with gentle soap. Works most of the time and leaves less of a scent than olive oil.

  • rosarita313 says:

    Great post! I wash with soap, rinse well and swab w/alcohol. Haven’t had a scrubber in a long time, thank goodness.

    • Portia says:

      Hey there ROSARITA313,
      Yes, it seems those three will do it. Thanks.
      Wishing you very few future scrubbers.
      Portia xx

  • Ann says:

    Perfect post, Portia! And some great tips there. I’ve been fortunate that I’ve only had two or three scrubbers in my time (Byredo’s M/M Ink, I’m looking at you and the stomach-roiling you gave me); most of them involving oud or cumin. With those, I have a little spray of Le Couvent Eau des Missions that I use as a rescue fragrance and it helps smooth over the nasty bits. When trying something new, I’m pretty cautious. I dab once very lightly on one wrist so there’s not much territory involved. Then, if I like the results, I can apply more generously.

    • Portia says:

      Ahh, you overspray. I hadn’t thought of that. Great idea Ann.
      Yes, keeping it minimal is a good idea but I never seem to remember.
      Portia xx

  • Happyrock says:

    Unscented deodorant does it for me.

  • poodle says:

    Finding a scrubber is the one time that having scent eating skin is advantageous. Although I will say some of the bad ones do linger longer like you said. I use all the tricks you mentioned and if it’s only been sprayed on my wrists I try to rub them together a lot to create some heat to burn the scent off me faster. I’m not sure if it helps but it makes me feel like I’m making progress getting rid of the scent. I’ve had a few “almost scrubbers” lately. I hope it’s not a trend.

  • sarahpatto says:

    Hah! Too funny. But once the deed is done , even after you scrub your hand or wrist you sometimes have to take a shower! And throw your shirt in the wash!) My father LOVED aftershave. And we always gave him a new one for his birthday which he would douse himself in. The smell would get on the telephone and I used to have to take kitchen spray and a paper towel to the receiver sometimes!

    • Portia says:

      I love that story. Really the phone would smell of his cologne, that’s amazing.
      Portia xx

  • I use the Neutragena make-up wipes in the light blue plastic dispenser. VERY lightly scented, so it fades to no scent at all while it dries.