Absorbing / Changing Shampoo Smell

I have a shampoo that I want to keep using, but it has this herbal smell that I cannot stand which I can still smell on me days later.

Is there a way to absorb the smell (like activated carbon) and make it odorless?

I’ve found that when a scented product won’t go away it has a lot to do with how it reacts with my body chemistry–the same concept as perfume smelling different when different people wear it. That’s about impossible to make go away–I had some mango/melon lotion that smelled awesome in the bottle but once I put it on only the melon smell remained and it actually kept getting stronger with time, resisting every effort to wash it off. I gave it to a friend of mine who had no problem with it and the melon smell wore off when she used it.

So I’m thinking there’s probably not much you can do with it–you could try pouring it out of its bottle into a large container with plenty of surface area to see if the scent dissipates in air but then you have to goop it back into the bottle and it’s probably going to make a mess.

If you like something that’s scented that way but not powerfully, Trader Joe’s (if you have access to them) sells a “Tea Tree Tingle” shampoo and conditioner that has a lot of essential oils in it, it has a fresh herbal smell but it doesn’t linger at all. Best I got.

I don’t see it losing it’s aroma, but maybe you could cover it by using a strongly scented conditioner, maybe a citrus one. Beware, mixology of scents can end up really bad.

Why do you want to keep using a shampoo when you dislike the smell that much? The smell is about all that’s different between it and the next brand!

The effective ingredients (detergent) in all major shampoos are basically the same. The difference is mainly in the human factors (the smell, color, feel, & conditioner left behind) and, of course, in the advertising for that brand. It’s pretty unlikely that there is anything ‘unique’ to this brand. So find another brand of shampoo whose smell you like, and switch to that.

You’ve had good help so far, but addressing this part, no. There’s too many other things that can be absorbed by activated carbon, and too much would be needed to get all of a scent that you find objectionable days later.

This happens often, someone looking for a chemical process to … do what that want, and only what they want, perfectly. Chemistry simply doesn’t work like that. Activated carbon can’t smell the scent, and will not be convinced but your insistence that the smell is objectionable.

Change your shampoo. And don’t look back.

Seriously, if you’re anything like me, you’ll spend more time and energy worrying about it than it’s worth. Ask my wife, she’ll tell you how often she gives me That Look and I realize it’s time… time to stop researching the perfect shaving technique or thinking about the perfect shampoo.

Once I just buy a new shampoo or a new razor and STOP THINKING ABOUT IT, I find I have more time and energy to devote to… my next obsession!

Hmm, what breakfast cereal will give me the perfect ratio of Whole Grains and Fiber to Cane Sugar and Carbs?

Leaving the bottle open for a few months might let the scent dissipate. Warming it slightly or pouring it into a wide, shallow bowl might speed that up. Of course, it would also lose other volatiles and water, which might reduce the shampoo’s effectiveness. You could try that with a small amount, just enough for one or two uses, and see what results.

Or just switch to a different shampoo.

Also, water it down. Might help a bit. You can’t really get rid of the smell, though.