Tuesday, September 26, 2006

How to remove fragrance from skin

The Murphy's Law of fragrance sampling says quite simply that the more you like a scent, the quicker it will disappear. It follows, of course, that a fragrance that you detest beyond all understanding will cling to your skin like glue, and lingering traces will remain on your wool coat even after several dry-cleanings.

Over the years I have read about and tried any number of perfume-removal methods. Wiping with alcohol is frequently recommended, but rarely removes hardcore offenders, and scrubs, well, sometimes even removing the top layer of skin isn't enough. Here is my own personal routine:

1. Apply unscented deodorant.

2. After a few minutes, wash off with a heavy-duty laundry detergent. I like Liquid Tide, although I must note that some versions of Tide are so highly scented that you've simply replaced one problem with another. Tide Free, if you can find it, is the best.

If you're planning a heavy day of fragrance shopping, individually wrapped alcohol swabs (you can find them at most pharmacies) are better than nothing, and I also like Dickinson's Witch Hazel pads.

My favorite shower gel for removing fragrance: Santa Maria Novella Hamamelis (Witch Hazel), but it isn't cheap and I've been meaning to look for an alternative.