I Smell Like a Skunk

 It’s a terrible thing to smell like a skunk.  To have your cat smell like a skunk and your house smell like a skunk.  And nothing I’ve tried thus far has had any effect at all…


From what I’ve read – here, there and everywhere – skunks are not aggressive animals.  They only use their special scent when threatened, the reason being that once the spray is gone, it takes up to ten days for the gland to fill again.

Of course, the first thing I did upon realizing some skunk had sprayed our front door was to find every scented candle I’ve ever received – generally at Christmas gift swaps – and set them ablaze around the house.  The living room got Cappuccino, the bedroom

Didn't do a thing to distill the smell but did manage to set off the smoke alarm.

Didn’t do a thing to lessen the smell but did manage to set off the smoke alarm.

where I write, Scents of the Sea, the kitchen Cinnamon Delight, etc.  This method for skunk smell removal only works if you’ve got your nose in the candle which I do not recommend as I burnt the tip of my nose and almost caught my nasal hairs on fire.

Next I googled “how to get rid of a skunk smell.”  As expected, the first links that popped up were Pest Removal ads.  Yikes!  Can you imagine spending your days removing skunks from basements and attics?  Still, if you are a successful skunk removal expert I bet you could interest Hollywood in a new reality show “Skunk Dynasty.”  I mean the duck men have their dynasty, why not the skunk men? 

The ads were followed by several home-spun remedies, some resembling chemistry experiments.  Having done poorly at chemistry, I passed on any remedy that could potentially blow the roof off the house.

This one from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures looked safe enough.  So I filled every small bowl I could find with vinegar and set them around the house. This, for some reason, drove my husband crazy.  He hates the smell of vinegar even more than eau de skunk.  So I returned to my scented candles.  The hope is eventually they will work.  Otherwise, I guess I’ll just have to get used to smelling like a skunk.

Here are some interesting things about skunks I found during my research:

  • The name “skunk” has Native American roots: skonks in Mohegan, škakw in Lenape, squnck in Wampanoag, zhigaag in Ojibwe, etc. The Indians have countless tales about the skunk, some tribes believing them to be monsters and others, good luck.  The Cherokee hung dead skunks outside their teepees believing they would ward off disease. Sounds very hygienic!  But the myth I found most disturbing was of a giant skunk so powerful he could shoot his spray across the ocean.  I don’t know about you, but I’d rather face King Kong than Stinkzilla. 
  • Early Jesuits believed that when Saint Catherine de smelt sin, it had the same vile odor as a skunk.
    I feel your pain!

    I feel your pain!  Painting is the Passion of Saint Catherine

    Poor lady, no wonder she suffered so.  There was probably a lot of sin going around.

  • Charles Darwin encountered stink “clouds”  so virulent upon his entrance into MonteVideo harbor that he almost turned away.  Apparently they didn’t like foreigners!  MonteVideo looks like a beautiful town but I think I’ll pass on a harbor cruise.

9 thoughts on “I Smell Like a Skunk

  1. The Husband,
    I love to cook and was scheduled to cook. I use a lot of herbs and sauces. I bought a lot of these pyrex bowls so I could measure things out ahead of time. When I went to cook, they were gone. 8 of these little pyrex bowls. These are the best things America Test Kitchen says are the best things to have in preparation for cooking. All these bowls were gone. I found them in odd places around the house. They contained vinegar. I smelled the skunk smell … but I think it was the Labrador next door who ran into a skunk in his yard and was too stupid to leave it alone. I always avoid a skunk….

  2. Hi Jan, I’m so sorry about your skunk smell problem! Back when I was a teacher, I went our for a run really early one morning (it was still dark) and accidentally kicked a trash can. Unfortunately, a skunk was enjoying some of the contents of that trash can, and it didn’t enjoy being startled. So it sprayed me. I ran back into my apartment–my eyes watering from the stench–and both of my roommates immediately woke up due to the fumes. One of them (the male roommate) went back to bed, but the female jumped in her car and drove to the 24 hr. convenience store and bought about 10 cans of tomato juice. She then poured them into the bathtub and told me to climb in and attempt to cover every part of me in the juice. It felt like a scene right out of Carrie, and of course, it was freezing. If my memory serves me well, I also washed my running clothes in ammonia.

    Anyway, after the lovely bath, I took a long, hot shower, and was no longer able to smell any skunk. So I went off to school. My students were 7th graders, and almost immediately, they all started saying, “Does anyone smell a skunk?” So I had to tell them the entire story. But the smell did wear off, and I think it was gone by the following day. People have since told me that Nature’s Miracle works even better than tomato juice. Perhaps you’ve already tried that, but if not, maybe…Anyway, best of luck. xo

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