Strong Lingering Cologne/Perfume

I have just started hosting and it’s going rather well so far. My first guests, however, wore very very strong cologne and the smell is still lingering and that was about 9 days ago! I’m not sure what to do as I tried spraying the place with vinegar and water; placing essential natural oils around on tissue; incense; sage smudging; wiping down every wall, piece of furniture and light switch, etc. You get the picture. And now a new guest shows up and he’s wearing the same cologne and I’m nervous that it too will linger. I have put it in my house rules “No lingering or strong colognes/perfumes as the walls are adobe and absorb orders”. First, does anyone have any tips on getting rid of synthetic odors such as this and is there a way I can let my guests to understand the problem if they wear it? Thanks so much~

That’s a tough problem. It appears that nobody perceives their perfume/cologne as strong. I used to work with a woman who wore patchouli. She told me that she liked it because, “It’s such a light scent.” I almost choked on my coffee.

It might work better if you told your guests that as other guests are extremely sensitive to scents would they please apply them outside. This way your guests don’t have to evaluate whether their scents are strong.

I have been shocked by the amount of “scent” that guests have used. Especially the men! Thankfully, my rooms don’t have that much fabric and the aroma didn’t cling to the rooms. I opened the windows and turned on some powerful fans. The worst was a woman who must have broken her perfume bottle and then placed it in the trashcan for days. Oh my! This stuff reeked. I am pretty sure that there was a bit of odor for the next guest, but they were too nice to say anything.

I would love to state that we are a low-odor home, but I would have lost about half of our bookings.

I have never worn scent, or put anything on my body that leaves a scent [well except shampoo I guess.] I don’t understand why these perfectly smart and lovely people feel the need to douse themselves every morning.

I’m with you. I particularly don’t understand people who apply scent when they are going out to dinner. Don’t they want to taste their food?

I have also found that in our guest room; the scents dissipate pretty quickly. We have wood floors, plaster walls and lots of windows. We even had a guest spill an entire bottle of tea tree oil on the mattress and it dissipated before the next guest arrived (not before it gave me a nasty headache, though).

The only thing you didn’t have in your list that might help is a candle (or many candles!) – can’t hurt to try …

I like wearing (very expensive!) eau de parfum and use it sparingly (so sparingly that when I ask the husband if he likes the perfume, he sniffs and goes "What perfume?)

But anyway, to the point. I work with essential oils in my soap workshop so I can tell @Encantador that you are only masking the scent when you add vinegar, “natural” oils etc. The best way to get rid of unwanted odours is with sodium bicarbonate (I think it’s baking soda in the US?) If you can put open containers of this around the place it should absorb any remaining perfume mollecules floating around in the air. You need to use quite a lot and keep renewing the bicarb.


Instead of “no strong or lingering…” (because no one believes it could be them) Just make the statement.

“For environmental reasons we are a scent-free home. No perfume, aftershave, scented body oils or other aromatics are permitted.”


Something else that absorbs smells is charcoal. I have a scent remover filled with charcoal that I got at the Container Store.


Call me weird… but I have a strong sense of smell, and I invariable take a moment to smell the room after my guests leave. Often times I enjoy the faint smell of cologne/perfume. If I smell BO though… ick.


Clearly you haven’t had any guests who use Axe body spray. It’s anything but enjoyable.