So you heard that neem oil does not smell of roses...
Well, you could be wrong!
An Indian company just released a new neem oil that comes in different aromas. You can choose between rose and sandalwood among others. True story!
But you can't buy the new neem oil on the Internet, or in a shop near you. Yet. I'll let you know once you can.
According to the company that makes the new aromatic neem oil they only masked the smell, they did not remove it. That's good! Because a refined, deodorized neem oil is generally not what you want!
Yes, raw neem oil stinks. But the components that give off the offensive sulfurous smell are the ingredients that make neem oil so effective.
Remove the smell and you remove much of the effectiveness of neem oil.
There are over 140 active ingredients in neem oil. Scientists are busy measuring and proving exactly what each of this substances can and can't do. That's great to increase our understanding. But isolating individual ingredients, or removing some of them (the smelly ones) is not necessarily a good thing for the user.
It doesn't matter if we look at herbs, natural oils, or, even your daily food! The closer to its natural state something is the healthier and the better for you it is.
Fresh garlic is more powerful than garlic pills. Organic potatoes baked in their skins are more nutritious than instant potato soup from a packet. And raw stinky neem oil works better than the colorless and deodorized versions.
If you are battling insects, lice, mites, be it in the garden, on your dog or in your kids' hair, use raw neem oil. Put a clothes peg on your nose if you have to.
Once your garden spray has dried you won't notice the smell. You won't notice it on your dog either.
In your own hair, which is a bit closer to your nose, you can use a shampoo and conditioner with some nice essential oils after the neem oil treatment. That would definitely cover any lingering hint of neem oil smell.
A skin lotion is a different cup of tea, since it stays on your skin. But you should not use pure neem oil on your skin anyway. Either make your own neem lotions or stick to ready made commercial preparations. Those neem lotions often have neem oil in them, but many also use neem leaf extract, which doesn't smell.
Neem leaf is very good for the skin and often overlooked by people who know little about neem! Neem lotions and cremes also include other essential oils that mask and cover the smell of the neem oil.
You can also try adding just a bit of neem oil to a lotion that you like. Experiment to find out how much you can add before your nose takes notice. (Only mix a bit at a time unless it's a water free lotion. Neem oil is not stable when mixed with water.)
Neem soaps nearly always smell good from the other oils that the manufacturers add. Just look at the ingredients before you buy. Plus, you rinse and dry after use anyway.
And here, just for the fun of it, some quotes from around the Net. Just so you can brace yourself for the opening of your first bottle of real neem oil...