9 Perfume Scents That Keep Bed Bugs Away (Really Works)


How are you holding up? If you’re stressed out about bed bugs, I hope this review of 9 perfume scents that keep bed bugs away for 2023 offers you a reasonable solution.

I spent hours on end researching the scents that can keep bed bugs away from you. Then I searched for perfumes that contain these deterring scents.

The ones I selected are by far the best fragrances to help you get a good night’s rest as you carry out your bed bug eradication plan.

You don’t have to use harsh chemicals to repel bed bugs. Choose one of these perfumes, and you’ll get a safe, effective solution that’s guaranteed to help reduce your anxiety and keep bed bugs at bay long enough to get some sleep.

Ready to reduce your stress levels by guarding yourself from bed bug bites?

Here’s how!

Perfume Scents That Keep Bed Bugs Away

Top 9 Perfume Scents to Repel Bed Bugs

Not everyone responds to bed bug bites in the same way. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, some people may form small bumps, other clusters or hives, and still others might not show signs of bites at all.

A bed bug bite can look like any other common insect bite. So bites alone or a lack thereof are a poor indicator for knowing whether or not bed bugs have been fully eradicated from your home.

Wearing any of the scents below can help alleviate at least some of the distress you might be feeling when you lay down to go to bed at night.

But make sure you’ve taken other bed bug elimination steps first, like encasing your mattress, removing infested objects, cleaning the colonies you have been able to find, vacuuming the floors and so on.

Bed bugs are turned off from scents like cinnamon, coriander, citrus smells, lavender, pepper, cedarwood, and more that I’ll cover in a bit more detail later on in the article. All of the suggested perfumes have one or more of these scents bed bugs find annoying.

Not all of them are eau de parfum, but all of them have a decent concentration of fragrance oils and will likely last for up to eight hours when sprayed.

1. Highly Concentrated: 34 Boulevard Saint-Germain Eau de Toilette by Diptyque Paris

No products found.

Diptyque is known for formulating complexly captivating fragrances. 34 Boulevard Saint-Germain is the bottled scented liquid version of what you would experience if you were to step into Diptyque’s shop located on Saint-Germain boulevard.

The company used headspace technology to capture the odor compounds of their shop. And these olfactory notes created the essence of patchouli, amber, rose and cinnamon. There are also hints of blackcurrant.

Bed bugs are turned off by strong scents like cinnamon. This spice contains that compound eugenol, which scientists have found to prolong the amount of time between bed bug visits. And rose contains geraniol, which is another deterring compound.

It’s a 50 mL (1.7 fl oz) bottle, so depending on how often you use it, you may have to replace the bottle fairly soon.

Pros

  • Highly concentrated fragrance
  • Long lasting scent
  • Contains eugenol

Cons

  • Somewhat expensive
  • May require reapplication

No products found.

2. Most Fresh: Blu Mediterraneo Bergamotto di Calabria Eau de Toilette Spray by Acqua di Parma

Sale
Acqua Di Parma Blue Mediterraneo Bergamotto Di Calabria Eau de Toilette Spray, 5 Ounce, Calabrian citrus fruits, 5 oz
  • The package dimension of the product is 5"L x 2.8"W x 2.8"H
  • Apply onto clean, dry skin.
  • It is recommended for romantic wear.
  • This item is by designer Acqua Di Parma.

Dominant accords in this eau de toilette are fresh and citrus with a wood base; the bottle is 150 mL (5.1 fl oz).

There are a number of ingredients on each layer of this fragrance that will annoy bed bugs. Citrus top notes include bergamot and citron – both of which contain the linalool compound. In the middle, you’ll find ginger, cedarwood, and a floral bouquet. As it dries down, you’ll smell musk, vetiver, and benzoin.

Cedarwood can exist in many forms and is a huge turn off for bed bugs. Ginger is too spicy, and the citrus notes would be an immediate turn off.

Pros

  • Light, fresh fragrance
  • Won’t be overbearing if worn while asleep
  • Bed bugs dislike citrus notes
  • Wood notes also deter bed bugs

Cons

  • On the expensive side
  • Not always easy to find

== Check Price on Amazon ==

3. Most Affordable: English Lavender Eau de Toilette Spray by Yardley of London

Yardley Of London English Lavender Eau de Toilette Spray for Women, 4.2 Ounce
  • Packaging for this product may vary from that shown in the image above.
  • This item is not sold to Catalina Island.

At 125 mL (4.2 fl oz) and a reasonable price, this option is the most affordable on this list. It’s heavily scented with lavender, which is one of the most effective natural bed bug repellants.

Lavender contains a large amount of the compound linalool. This is another compound that is a bed bug deterrent.

Linalool exists in over 200 kinds of plants and flowers, but it’s really dominant in lavender and bed bugs can’t stand the scent.

Lavender, rosemary, eucalyptus, and bergamot are all fragrance notes with linalool that annoy bed bugs. These aromatic scents make up the first layer of this fragrance.

Heart notes include clary sage, geranium, and cedarwood – another set of fragrances that contain compounds like geraniol and carvacrol that repel bed bugs.

Oak moss, musk, and tonka bean are the dry down notes.

You can spray this perfume on your bed sheets and pillow instead of your body, if preferred.

Pros

  • Strong lavender presence
  • Also, a calming scent before bed
  • Fairly large bottle for the price
  • Multiple bed bug repelling compounds

Con

  • Scent may not last all night

== Check Price on Amazon ==

4. Best Citrus Notes: Aqua Allegoria Mandarine Basilic Eau de Toilette Spray by Guerlain

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Aqua Allegoria Mandarine Basilic by Guerlain for Women EDT SPRAY 4.2 OZ
  • Aqua Allegoria Mandarine Basilic Eau De Toilette Spray - 125ml/4.4oz
  • Ladies Fragrance
  • Guerlain, Aqua Allegoria Mandarine Basilic
  • The package dimension of the product is 6.2cmL x 6.4cmW x 13.8cmH

A nice size, this bottle is 125 mL (4.2 fl oz) and can last a while without needing to be replaced.

As a citrus aromatic, the top notes include bitter orange, clementine, orange blossom, green tea, and ivy. All of which will immediately cause bed bugs to either turn away or try to relocate.

In the middle chamomile, mandarin orange, basil, and peony. The middle two are strong bed bug deterrents. Sandalwood and amber close out the scent with bed bug-repelling woody and resinous notes.

Pros

  • Multiple bed bug fighting scents
  • Long lasting fragrance
  • Larger bottle size

Cons

  • Moderately high price
  • May not last entire sleeping time

== Check Price on Amazon ==

5. Most Spicy: Cinnabar Eau de Parfum Spray by Estée Lauder

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Cinnabar By Estee Lauder For Women. Eau De Parfum Spray 1.7-Ounces
  • Cinnabar is warm, mysterious, endlessly appealing spicy scent.
  • Jasmine, Orange Flower, Clove and Patchouli blend intriguingly into an intense, sensual experience.
  • English (Publication Language)

Top notes include tangerine, orange blossom, and jasmine. Middle notes are lily, cloves, and lily-of-the-valley. On the base layer, you’ll find olibanum resin, sandalwood, and patchouli.

Citrusy top notes can offer an immediate barrier between you and bed bugs. Eugenol, one of the strongest natural bed bug deterrents, is heavily present in cloves, one of the heart notes for this scent. As a heart note, it’ll last a long time.

On the base layer, the spiciness of patchouli and woodiness of sandalwood offer additional barriers.

This bottle is 50 mL (1.7 fl oz).

Pros

  • Multiple bed bug deterring fragrances
  • Clove is a strong deterrent
  • Lasting fragrance
  • Classic spicy fragrance

Cons

  • Moderately high price for volume
  • Might be too strong to wear to bed

== Check Price on Amazon ==

6. Gourmand Option: Good Girl Eau de Parfum Spray by Carolina Herrera

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Carolina Herrera Good Girl Fragrance For Women - Floral Family Notes Of Tuberose, Tonka Bean And Jasmine Sensual Evocative Both Freshly Light Moodily Dark Edp Spray 2.7 Oz
  • THE DUALITY OF THE FEMININE; The Carolina Herrera Good Girl is daring yet sophisticated; feminine yet bold; An embodiment of this femme-fatale energy; Good Girl’s seductive aroma envelops the wearer in a scent that awakens and entices the senses
  • HIGH-FASHION DESIGN; Housed in redesigned haute couture; the original Good Girl scent arrives in a simply seductive black stiletto bottle
  • DEFY CONVENTIONS; Good Girl enters the scene with notes of almond; easing into a hint of jasmine samba; and drying to a musky finish of cocoa and tonka bean
  • RADIANT; LONG-LASTING SCENT; Excite and enthrall your senses with a sensual; evocative scent that emanates all day
  • CHIC ELEGANCE AND BEYOND; Established in 1980; the iconic Carolina Herrera Fashion and Fragrance house has always specialized in curating sophisticated; classic fragrances with uniquely unexpected notes and twists

The first gourmand on the list, this 2016 release has an abundance of ingredients that would cause a bed bug to run in the opposite direction.

Almond, coffee, bergamot, and lemon are the top notes. Citrus is one of the scents that bed bugs dislike the most.

In the middle we have tuberose, orange blossom, Bulgarian rose, orris, and jasmine sambac – the geranial compound in roses will keep bed bugs at bay. But the bottom notes are most impactful. They include cacao, tonka bean, vanilla, praline, amber, musk, sandalwood, cashmere wood, cinnamon, patchouli, and cedar.

The cedar, cashmere wood, and cinnamon – all containing eugenol – would work the hardest to repel those pesky insects.

Pros

  • Citrus, spicy, wood notes
  • Long lasting fragrance
  • Decent amount of fragrance for the price

Cons

  • Not for those who dislike sweet fragrances
  • A little expensive

== Check Price on Amazon ==

7. Complex Fragrance: Tocca Stella Eau de Parfum Spray

Tocca Eau De Parfum Spray for Women, Stella, 3.4 Ounce
  • A Tempestuous Italian Beauty
  • Stella brings her intense passion to everything she does
  • Her notes of blood orange and spicy lily are as flirty and sensual as they are impetuous
  • Key Notes: Blood Orange, White Freesia, Spicy Lily, Sandalwood, Sheer Musk.

At 100 mL (3.4 fl oz) – this is a decent-sized bottle. It’s a present fragrance with citrus, wood, and spicy notes that will offer you a guard against bed bugs.

Blood orange, watery notes, and bitter orange are strong barriers and compose the top notes. In the middle lily, freesia, and wild orchid – the complexities of each can annoy bed bugs. Musk and sandalwood round out the fragrance. Wood notes are another barrier.

Pros

  • Scent lasts a long time
  • Strong citrus notes
  • Wood notes also deter bed bugs
  • Freesia offers spicy notes

Cons

  • Scent might be too light for some people
  • Somewhat expensive

== Check Price on Amazon ==

8. Subtle Scent: My Way Eau de Parfum Spray by Armani

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Giorgio Armani My Way for Women Eau de Parfum Spray, Pink,3 Fl Oz (Pack of 1)
  • A citrus floral fragrance for modern women
  • Soft, crisp, sweet, feminine & enchanting
  • Item Package Dimension: 3.0" L x 2.0" W x 5.5" H
  • Item Package Weight: 3.1 lb
  • (Playback Language)

A fairly recent release in 2020, My Way has citrus top notes, orange blossom and bergamot – that contain linalool. In the middle, tuberose and jasmine will have some deterring effect due to geraniol.

But Virginian cedar is a major deterrent as a base note. Musk and Madagascar vanilla are also the base notes.

My Way makes for a pleasant scent to smell at night.

Pros

  • Wood and citrus notes are solid barriers
  • Long lasting fragrance
  • Multiple bottle size options

Con

  • Regular price is high

== Check Price on Amazon ==

9. Floral Option: Libre Eau de Parfum Spray by Yves Saint Laurent

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Even newer than My Way, Libre was launched in 2021. Lavender, bergamot, and mandarin orange make up the top notes – all three of which contain bed bug deterring compounds.

In the middle, there’s jasmine, orange blossom, and jasmine tea – which can be slightly offensive to the tiny pests.

Base note fragrance would really do the trick, though. It’s a combination of musk, vanilla, and ambergris. Ambergris can smell like rubbing alcohol and bed bugs cannot tolerate that scent.

This bottle is 90 mL (3 fl oz).

Pros

  • Top and middle layers offer the most defense
  • Long lasting fragrance
  • More reasonably priced

Cons

  • Somewhat pricey
  • May not be the best scent for sleeping

No products found.

More Information about Bed Bug Infestations

There isn’t anything much worse in life than a bed bug infestation. You can go to great measures to rid your home of bed bug colonies, but you simply can’t always be sure that they’re completely gone.

Bed bugs are good at hiding in places you might not even consider examining.

If you’re concerned about whether or not there are bed bugs lingering in your cushions, mattress, box spring, or other places, there are perfume fragrances that can repel them.

Unlikely to be an effective insecticide when used alone, these fragrances can accompany your bed bug removal plan.

Bed Bug Behaviors

Like mosquitoes, bed bugs feed on warm blood. They prefer to feed on humans, but they will also resort to smaller mammals and also birds.

Largely nocturnal, if necessary, they will also feed during the day. It takes less than fifteen minutes for them to complete their feeding. These feedings are a huge part of their developmental process, making feedings essential at least once every two weeks.

The lifespan of a bed bug is six to twelve months or more, and a female bed bug can lay up to 500 eggs within this time. And these eggs are resistant to many forms of pest control.

Getting rid of bed bugs requires a comprehensive approach.

Scents That Bed Bugs Hate to Encounter

When treating a bed bug infestation, the most important thing is to have a plan. Whether you seek professional help or do it yourself it helps to remain diligent, document the process, and protect your home from further infestation.

Although understandably annoying, it’s a multiphasic process that requires patience. But it all starts with preparing your home for treatment.

While perfumes won’t eradicate bed bug nests, you might be able to protect your skin from bites. If they’re really annoyed by the smell, it might even cause them to want to relocate from their hiding place. If this happens, then they might fall into other traps you’ve set around the home.

So what are the scents that can drive a bed bug so crazy that it won’t want to be around you?

  • Cedarwood (juniper, pine, etc)
  • Cinnamon
  • Citrus
  • Clove
  • Eucalyptus
  • Lavender
  • Mint (menthol)
  • Pepper (primarily red)
  • Peppermint
  • Rubbing alcohol

Since we know that ethyl alcohol is one of the primary ingredients in perfume formulas, we’re already on the road towards keeping bed bugs at bay when wearing any perfume.

Alcohol acts as a desiccant, drying out the bug’s outer body. They detest the smell and will scatter instead of lingering around creating havoc in your home.

But wearing a perfume that’s citrusy, minty (due to the menthol), or spicy is even better.

How Do Scents Affect Bed Bugs?

Insects don’t inhale fragrances in the same way that humans do. Thus, bed bugs don’t have lungs. Instead, they directly inhale air into their bodily system via a series of tracheae formed across their exoskeleton.

This is different because our lungs filter the air that we breathe in, removing toxins. But insects’ tracheal respiratory system makes them more vulnerable because gasses are distributed throughout the body.

When insects inhale oxygen, it travels throughout the length of the tracheae. Therefore, certain fragrances have a deeper impact on insects than they would humans.

Bed Bugs and Plant Compounds

There are a number of plant compounds that have been found to reduce the number of bed bugs to host visits. This means that exposure to these compounds can cause bed bugs to keep their distance from humans.

For instance, over 200 plants contain linalool. Linalool is a natural aromatic molecule that can also be replicated in a scientific lab.

Linalool gives plants their fragrance, but it’s also a natural insecticide that acts as a protective barrier to help plants defend themselves from insects.

This molecule is dominant in lavender. It can also be found in rosemary, sage, and bergamot. It’s also found in citrus, conifers, and spices like coriander. Linalool is found in more than half of all personal fragrances found in the market.

Another compound, eugenol is found in spices like cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. More compounds include:

  • Citronellic acid (lemongrass, citronella grass, etc)
  • Thymol (thyme)
  • Geraniol (rose, geranium, lemon, etc)
  • Carvacrol (bergamot, thyme, etc)

Eugenol, citronellic acid, thymol, geraniol, and carvacrol were all found to act as more significant temporary barriers against bed bugs. They didn’t visit humans as often when they encountered scents with these compounds.

Bed bugs also detest cedarwood and menthol. Scientists are still researching ways to use scents as an effective repellent.

Conclusion

Remember that you can’t rely on perfumes to resolve a bed bug infestation. Certain scents will deter them or even cause them to surface so that they will be exposed to other methods of elimination. But getting rid of them altogether is an involved process.

Perfumes listed on this page can primarily give you peace of mind while you’re going through the pest control process.

The clear winner for me would be Cinnabar by Estée Lauder because all three fragrance layers contain compounds that would offend bed bugs.

You’ll of course have to try out a couple of scents to determine which would work best for you. But you can’t expect any of these perfumes to help you if you aren’t actively engaged in an elimination plan to remove bed bugs from your home permanently.

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Grace

Hello and welcome to Fragrance Advice! My name is Grace Young, and I’ve been drawn to fragrances since I was a little girl. There's just something about scent that brings me so much joy! 

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