Eliminate Your Smell with the Best Scent Killers

It’s hard to not get obsessive about scent control. Sometimes you scrub yourself down the morning of, but you still see that big buck catch a whiff of you and disappear back behind the tree line. After these hunts I always find myself wishing I could shrink down in one of those ships like in Fantastic Voyage and zap every last odor molecule off my body and gear.

Of course, you can’t actually shrink down to microscopic size, but you can do your research and get the very best scent elimination product. You can’t watch it happen, but the right product will work just like that tiny submarine to get rid of any odor particles.

If you’ve never given scent control a try, you might want to consider it this season. You can read over the facts and science to see why. Once you’re convinced, look at our list of top five products. Each one stood out to us for one reason to other, and you’re sure to find one that’ll work for you.

In the right place? Checkout these following links if you’re looking for deer attractants, deer scents, calls or for more on hiding your smell you might want to checkout this list of cover scents.

A white-tailed deer sniffing the air
Be invisible to a white-tails best sense

Our Top Scent Killer Picks

How do scent eliminators work?

Most human body odor is produced by bacteria that break down human sweat. Our bodies also produce other chemicals and particles that deer can smell. Scent eliminators tackle these processes through a variety of ways.

Soaps and shampoos

You can find scent control bar soaps, body washes, shampoos, even conditioners. These work to remove odorous chemicals and the microbes that produce them. Use these to wash yourself off right before you head to your stand. Unlike normal soaps and shampoos, they aren’t made with any perfumes, so you end up with a neutral scent.

Laundry detergents

Clothes build up bacteria, human skin cells, all sort of things that make them smell. It’s important to wash your hunting gear, but if you use a standard detergent, you take that strong soapy smell out into the woods with you. Scent control detergents are scent neutral so you’re be unsmellable.

Field sprays

I hate to break it to you, but the moment you step out of the shower, those bacteria start building back up. Your body starts producing sweat and other chemicals. Field sprays are chemicals that bind to odor molecules and neutralize your scent. Carry one with you on your hunt to use as you need it.

Ozone

These days you have more technological options, too. Ozone gas is a molecule made of three oxygen atoms rather than two like the oxygen we breathe. It’s produced by lightning strikes and common in the upper atmosphere but not as much down near the ground.

Ozone is a highly reactive chemical, so it bonds easily with odor-causing molecules turning them into other chemicals completely. It also kills bacteria and other microbes to prevent that odor from returning.

Scent eliminators vs cover scents

While they serve a similar purpose, scent eliminators and cover scents are not the same thing.

Scent eliminators work to remove the chemicals and bacteria on your body and on your clothes that create smells. To deer these odors identify you as human and therefore a predator. Deer can smell even the lightest of odors from far away. If they sniff you out, you probably won’t even see them.

Cover scents don’t eliminate your personal scent. Instead they create another scent that masks it. Deer have powerful noses, but you can actually use this to your advantage. If you can overstimulate the deer’s nose with an odor that seems harmless to them, they won’t notice the stray odor molecule from your sweat.

When it comes to scent control versus cover scents, it shouldn’t be a choice. Because a deer’s sense of smell is so strong, it’s best to use as many resources and strategies as you can. Your sense of smell isn’t any match, so there’s no way for you to know how well you’ve eliminated or covered your scent. Best to just use both.

The best methods are sometimes just common sense

Like everything when you’re hunting whitetail, scent control is more than just buying the right product. A lot of the best scent control methods just involve smart preparation and good day-of strategies.

Leave strong smells at home

You probably use a lot of things on a daily basis that have strong smells. You might be used to these scents, but to deer, they’re giant red flags. Cigarette smoke–even if you smoke before you leave the house–is a definite no-go. Other tobacco products can be dead giveaways as well. If you bring food with you, pack it well and try to make it scent neutral. Obviously, you have to leave strong chemicals like gasoline or paint at home too.

Don’t sweat it

Sweat is your biggest enemy when it comes to scent control. Sweat produces the unique odors that identify you as a human hunter. Try to avoid working one up as best you can. That means take it easy on your hike in to your stand and dress in layers appropriate for the weather. If you get warm, take a layer off to keep yourself at a cool temperature.

Mind the wind

Deer are smart enough to position themselves based on the wind, so you should too. Determine where the deer will be coming from, then set up your stand or blind downwind from that location. This way the wind catches the odor from your body and gear and carries it away from the deer rather than toward them.

Avoid crossing paths

If you know where the deer trails are and how they move into their feeding areas, make sure you don’t walk along the same paths. This minimizes the risk that you’ll leave some scent behind that’ll prompt the local herd to move differently.

Keep clean

Perhaps the most important factor, you have to bathe and wash your clothes before hunting. This is where choosing the right product does come in. Whatever you use to wash up, it has to remove sweat and other human chemicals while not leaving any of its own scents or chemicals behind.

Ideally, you should wash yourself immediately before you head out in the morning. Even if you shower the night before, you’ll sweat in your sleep, pick up detergent odors from the bed and build bacteria back up on your skin.

You can wash your gear a few days before and use the time in between to apply cover scent. My favorite strategy has always been washing my camos with a scent-neutral detergent several days before and then stuffing them in a plastic tub filled with fallen leaves and pine needles.

Our Top Picks In Detail

PhaZe Body Odor System

PhaZe Body Odor System (5pk) - #1 Deer Hunter's Scent Elimination & Scent Control System!

PhaZe is a relatively new brand on the scent-control market. You can tell by their sleek modern labeling. It’s still managed to become a popular choice for hunters to want to control their own scent.

One of the great parts of this system is the three-step design. The first step cleans you off with shampoo, body wash, etc. The second takes care of your clothes. Last, there’s a field foam to control your scent while you’re actually hunting. The only problem with this is the six bottles it comes in that you have to keep track of.

This scent control also tackles a problem a lot of systems overlook. It conditions your skin and prevents dandruff. This is important not just because dry skin and dandruff are annoying, but because if you go leaving flakes all over the woods, any game will smell you for sure.

PhaZe is environmentally friendly and safe for sensitive skin, too. It has a ten-year shelf life that makes it a good choice for hunters who don’t use cover scent much and want something they can use season after season.

  • Three-step design
  • Covers scent on body and clothes
  • Prevents dandruff
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Safe for sensitive skin
  • Ten-year shelf life

PhaZe is environmentally friendly and safe for sensitive skin, too. It has a ten-year shelf life that makes it a good choice for hunters who don’t use cover scent much and want something they can use season after season.

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What we liked:
  • Three-step design
  • Covers scent on body and clothes
  • Prevents dandruff
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Safe for sensitive skin
  • Ten-year shelf life
Downsides:
  • Six different bottles

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Blue Collar Outdoors USA takes a quick look at the PhaZe Scent Control System

Dead Down Wind Trophy Hunter Kit

Dead Down Wind Trophy Hunter Kit (10 Piece)

You’ve probably seen the Dead Down Wind products around in their safety-orange containers. Hunters have been using the various scent control products to conceal themselves in the woods for years.

One of our favorite things about this kit is all the different little ways it covers your scent. For example, it comes with scent-control lip balm and camo face paint. Of course, it also comes with the standard products like soap and laundry detergent.

Dead Down Wind also takes convenience seriously. All the products come in easy-to-use containers including a simple 64-oz spray bottle to use in the field. However, because of its easy-spray design, it might leak in your rucksack, so pack it carefully.

All the products in this kit are safe for sensitive skin. It comes at a great price too. If you’re new to cover scents and want an affordable all-in-one product, this could be your best bet.

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What we liked:
  • Wide variety of products
  • Easy-to-use containers
  • Safe for sensitive skin
  • Low price range
  • All in one
Downsides:
  • Spray bottle might leak

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Chris explains why the Keefer Brothers go with Dead Down Wind for their scent control needs

Realtree Scent Crusher Gear Bag

Scent Crusher Realtree Camo Gear Bag with Ozone Generator - Destroys Odors Within 30 mins, Use at Home or On The Way to The Field, Airport/TSA Compliant

If you’re tired of carefully washing yourself and your clothes before every hunting trip, the Scent Crusher uses technology to make scent control as convenient as possible. It generates ozone that sanitizes any clothes you’ve put in the bag.

This method of scent control is ideal for serious hunters who travel for long hunting trips. Since it’s airport and TSA compliant, you can pack your gear in it and then catch your flight to the lodge. It’s large and made of durable nylon material, so don’t worry about humping it around.

Of course, this bag has to be plugged in to work and requires some assembly. Luckily, Realtree even made this convenient. It comes with a 12V vehicle adapter, and it eliminates odor in only 30 minutes. You can use it on the go.

You can also use this bag on other clothes year round. It doesn’t just work on hunting gear. You can keep your gym clothes fresh without even having to wash them.

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What we liked:
  • Convenient
  • TSA compliant
  • Large size
  • Durable nylon material
  • 12V vehicle adapter
  • Works in 30 minutes
  • Usable year round
Downsides:
  • Some assembly required
  • High price range

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PJ Riley from Lancaster Archery Supply reviews the Realtree Scent Crusher

Remington Hunting Odor Elimination Spray

Scent Control Spray - Remington Hunting Odor Elimination Spray - 24 oz

This spray might be your best option if you want something quick and simple. It’s just one liquid in an easy-to-use spray bottle.

It is super versatile. You can use it on all types of fabrics and even rubber and plastics, so you can douse your boots and gear. It doesn’t stain, so your camo will stay vibrant. Unfortunately, it isn’t really designed to eliminate odors on the human body, so you have to make sure you’re clean before your trip.

This spray lasts a while. One spray will last all day. In fact, it even protects clothing from building up odor when you store it for the off season.

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What we liked:
  • Only for gearEasy-to-use spray bottle
  • Works on a wide range of fabrics
  • Doesn’t stain
  • Lasts all day
  • Usable in the off season
Downsides:
  • Only for gear

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Madison tells you the story of her successful trophy hunt using Remington Scent Control

BoneView Ozone Generator

BoneView Mobile Ozone Machine Ozone Generator, Lithium Battery Powered Odor Elimination System for Your Deer Hunting Gear Bag with Powerful Triple Oxygen Scent Crushing Technology, White

Versatility is where this scent control system really shines. It’s a small and compact generator that you can fit into everything from a rucksack to a plastic tub. Plus, it runs on a rechargeable battery, so you can run it in any container and even take it along with you.

Because the BoneView is small and portable, its output isn’t as high as some other generators. It’s best for keeping small amounts of gear. It works well to keep extra clothing scent free in your pack.

For an advanced electronic, this generator comes at a really affordable price. The materials and construction are high quality. The battery is built to last over 500 recharges.

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What we liked:
  • Versatile uses
  • Small and compact
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
  • Portable
  • Low price range
Downsides:
  • Low ozone output

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E Factor Outdoors explains the benefits of the BoneView Ozone Generator

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