8 Easy Ways to Remove Perfume from Your Skin

You have to try out a perfume on your skin, there’s just no way around it. You can love how a perfume smells in its bottle or on your friend, but it’s possible for some scents to simply not work well with your body chemistry.  Other times you might apply too much of a fragrance at once. So how do you go about removing excess perfume from your skin?

There are a number of natural solutions that don’t require rubbing your skin until it turns red. One effective way is to use rubbing alcohol. Keep reading for more simple solutions using items you can find around your home.

Remove Perfume from Your Skin

8 Easy Ways to Remove Perfume from Your Skin

When trying to remove perfume from your skin, the one thing that you never want to do is spray another fragrance over it. You might think that a new scent will mask the old one, but this is untrue. 

Applying a new scent over a different one only works well when you’re intentionally layering fragrances. This intentional act ensures that the scents compliment one another. 

But if this isn’t a planned effort, it’s not a good idea. Instead, you want to neutralize the scent first. Below is a list of some of the best ways to do that.

They aren’t listed in order of effectiveness or preference. So you can read through the list to determine which one might work best for you using the ingredients that you have on hand. 

 1. Rubbing Alcohol

One of the best and simplest ways to remove perfume from your skin is with rubbing alcohol. 

Using a cotton ball or cotton pad, apply rubbing alcohol to it, and then wipe the perfumed area of your skin. 

Rubbing alcohol is commonly used to deodorize objects, like stinky shoes. It can also be used to clean the body, removing body odor.

Some people also use it as a room spray when combined with essential oils. And its ability to clean and disinfect makes it an appropriate solution for removing perfume from the skin. The alcohol essentially dries up the scent and causes it to evaporate.

2. White Vinegar

You might have noticed that soap and water won’t remove perfume from your skin. You can wipe and wipe with scented or unscented soap, but the fragrance will remain.

So another easy solution is to use white vinegar.

Similar to rubbing alcohol, you want to soak a cotton ball or cotton pad with white vinegar. Next, rub the area of your skin where you’d like to remove the perfume. But this approach is a little different because you want to let the vinegar sit in the fragranced area for up to fifteen minutes.

After the desired time has passed, then you can wash the area with soap and water. Dry the area with a towel, and that’s it. The smell of the perfume will be gone and you won’t smell the vinegar either.

This works because vinegar acts like an astringent. It draws the fragrance out of your skin and cleanses the area.

3. Vegetable Oil

Both rubbing alcohol and white vinegar can potentially dry out your skin. For a solution with a moisturizing effect, you can use a vegetable or plant oil to remove perfume from your skin.

Using a cloth or cotton ball, douse it with the oil of your choice. Some people prefer to use olive oil. But any beauty oil you normally use is also fine. Additional options include castor oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, and grapeseed oil.

After choosing your oil, wipe a generous amount onto your skin. Fully cover the area where you applied the perfume. Allow it to sit on your skin for at least 10 minutes.

Lastly, wash the area with soap and water.  

The oils act as a magnet, attracting the fragrance oils in your skin, pulling them to the surface. This method is most effective with high quality essential oil-based perfumes. 

Also, if you have skin that’s typically dry, then you might opt for this oil-based solution. 

4. Distilled Vodka

This may seem odd, but distilled vodka has the ability to remove acrylic paint from fabric, so I’m sure that it can remove perfume from your body.

Vodka is typically at least 80 proof, meaning it’s made of at least 40% alcohol content. That’s pretty potent. And some versions have an even higher alcohol by volume content. 

Similar to rubbing alcohol, you’d apply the vodka to your skin using a soaked cotton ball. Allow it to sit on your skin for up to 15 minutes before washing it off with soap and water.

I would suggest using the clear, unflavored version. It’s more potent and won’t leave a sticky residue on your skin from flavorings. 

5. Baking Soda Paste

This kitchen staple is known for removing and neutralizing odors. Most importantly, it’s gentle enough to use on your skin.

You can start by making a paste out of equal parts baking soda and warm water. If it’s too runny, add more baking soda until a thick paste is formed.

Once that’s done, moisten your perfumed skin with warm water. Apply the baking soda paste to the perfumed area of your skin. Allow it to sit on your skin for up to ten minutes. 

After the time has passed, simply rinse the area with warm water.

6. Makeup Remover

If you engage in the habit of removing makeup from your face every night, then this method might be most convenient for you.

Makeup removers are designed to break down cosmetic formulas. If it can dissolve makeup, then it can break down aromatic compounds as well.

If you have makeup remover pads, then you can simply place one or a few in the area where you applied the perfume. Allow the pads to sit on your skin for a few minutes, and then rinse your skin with water. 

Still faintly smell the perfume? Repeat the steps above until the fragrance is completely gone.

If you don’t have pads, then you can soak a cotton ball with your makeup remover, and then follow the same steps outlined above.

7. Witch Hazel

This is a gentler astringent than rubbing alcohol or white vinegar, so you might have to repeat these steps for them to be effective. Since it’s a gentler astringent, it won’t dry your skin to the extent that alcohol or vinegar would.

Nevertheless, if witch hazel is all that you have on hand, it can still help remove fragrance from your skin.

As a natural astringent, it removes excess oils from your skin. It lifts and eliminates the aromatic compounds as it rests on your skin. 

So just as before, you would soak a cotton ball or pad with witch hazel, and then place it on your skin. After a few minutes, remove the cotton and rinse that area of your skin.

Since witch hazel also has soothing effects, this option would work well for people who are removing perfume from their skin due to irritation. As the witch hazel sits in the area where you applied the perfume it’ll reduce itchiness, inflammation, and irritation.

8. Deodorant and Detergent Combo

This is a tag team solution that works best when using unscented products. You’ll need an unscented roll on deodorant or a deodorant stick. And you’ll need heavy-duty unscented laundry detergent. A brand like Tide or All might be best.

Deodorants are designed to absorb body odors. So it fits that applying unscented deodorant to the area of your body where you’d like to remove the perfume can help absorb that scent.

After allowing the deodorant to sit on your skin for a few minutes, then wash it off using water and the unscented detergent.

Since laundry detergent is more powerful than body wash or soap, you can expect it to more effectively complete the process of removing the perfume from your skin.

It’s unlikely that you’ll need to repeat this process. But if you still smell the perfume, then the unscented products are unlikely to irritate your skin in the way scented ones might. So feel free to repeat the process as needed. 

Why Is Soap & Water Alone Ineffective for Removing Perfume from the Skin?

As explained in this post, when you apply perfume to your body, it is absorbed into your skin. 

Washing your skin with soap and water might remove the fragrance that’s on the surface, but it won’t remove the fragrance oils that have already sunken into your skin cells.

This is why rubbing alcohol, distilled alcohol, vegetable oil, baking soda paste, and vinegar are all more effective than soap and water alone. 

These solutions listed above actually pull the aromatic oils up out of your skin cells – drawing them to the surface. 

Once they’ve reached the surface of your skin, then you can wash the fragrance away with soap and water.

So if you want to simply reduce the intensity of your perfume, then you can resort to soap and water.

Whether you wash the area with soap and water or choose to take a hot shower, either approach will reduce intensite. But neither method completely removes the fragrance from your skin. 


I hope this article has offered you some helpful tips for removing perfume from your skin.

Some perfumes can stay on your skin for 12 hours or more. You may not be impressed with the scent, or you could simply be ready to put on a new fragrance. If you want to remove perfume for any reason, then you have a list of ways to effectively remove perfume from your skin before applying a new scent.

Most of the suggestions call for items that you already have on hand. If you don’t have rubbing alcohol, you might have olive oil, and so forth.

Just know that you can’t rely on soap and water alone. It’s only helpful after the fragrance oils have been pulled to the surface of your skin.

Thanks for reading! Remember to share this article if you found it helpful.


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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