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10 bug sprays that don't stink

Caitlin Miller is a beauty and wellness writer who hails from the Midwest but calls New York home. She enjoys organizing beauty products almost as much as writing about them and would never travel without running sneakers and eyeliner.

Bug repellents that don't actually smell like stinky bug sprays

Although traditional bug sprays might be effective, they’re quite often stinky. And let's face it, the only thing worse than swatting away mosquitos at a barbecue is smelling like a walking chemical pool. So just in time for your next get-together (enjoy the fall weather while you can), we’ve found 10 bug repellents that are gentle on the nose but tough on bugs.

1. Captain Blankenship Sail Away Bug Spray

Bug repellents that don't actually smell like stinky bug sprays

Housed in a gorgeous cobalt blue bottle, this organic bug spray contains organic lemongrass, peppermint, rose geranium, lavender and wild harvested cedarwood essential oils to ward off ticks, mosquitoes and flies (Captainblankenship.com, $20).

2. Meow Meow Tweet Herbal Insect Repellent

Bug repellents that don't actually smell like stinky bug sprays

Known for their adorable packaging and vegan standards, Meow Meow Tweet serves up a plant-based, essential-oil rich repellent that boasts notes of lavender and cedar. Bonus points: It’s safe for hair, skin and clothes (Meowmeowtweet.com, $18).

3. Beekman 1802 Bug Repellent Spray

Bug repellents that don't actually smell like stinky bug sprays

We’re not sure which we like more here, the clever packaging or the DEET-free formula. Power-packed with essential oils, this spray is naturally scented with citronella, eucalyptus and rosemary (Shop.beekman1802.com, $10).

4. Mrs. White’s Unstung Hero Natural Spray Anti-Mosquito Eau de Cologne

Bug repellents that don't actually smell like stinky bug sprays

The lemon tea fragrance of this unisex spray almost has the air of a perfume rather than a bug spray. Use on linens and clothes — without the fear of stains — for an added barrier of protection against mosquitoes, ticks, black flies, wasps and bees (Shen-beauty.com, $38).

5. California Baby Natural Bug Blend Bug Repellent

Bug repellents that don't actually smell like stinky bug sprays

Suitable for children, this all-natural blend also combines known bug deterrents citronella, lemongrass and cedar essential oils to keep your kids — and you — bug free and smelling of sweet lemon (Drugstore.com, $17).

6. Badger Anti-Bug Balm Natural Mosquito Repellent

Bug repellents that don't actually smell like stinky bug sprays

Although not technically a spray, for the on-the-go type, this handy tin of bug balm is both practical and portable. Badger boasts between three and four hours of mosquito and fly relief thanks to a pleasant blend of essential oils (Badgerbalm.com, $10).

7. Iwilla Remedy Bug Spray Herbal Insect Repellent

Bug repellents that don't actually smell like stinky bug sprays
Image: Iwilla Remedy

Although it contains the usual suspects, eucalyptus and citronella, this savory spray also contains a blend of apple cider vinegar and cinnamon for a unique but effective touch and vibrant aroma (Iwillaremedy.com, $10).

8. Aromaflage Purser

Bug repellents that don't actually smell like stinky bug sprays

For those with wanderlust and a taste for finer things, this rollerball fragrance has top-notch perfume notes — citrus fruit, warm cedarwood, silken vanilla — and nourishing vitamin E to take you from adventure to adventure, all while smelling divine, mind you (Aromaflage.com, $30).

9. Ovvio Oils Prevent Natural Insect Repellent

Bug repellents that don't actually smell like stinky bug sprays

Much like its brother and sister sprays in the natural world, Ovvio Oils’ spray contains a blend of essential oils. However, what makes this blocker stand out in our book is that each ingredient has been sourced from their countries of origin: Lemon eucalyptus and tea tree from Australia, cedarwood from North America, lemongrass from Southeast Asia, eucalyptus from Spain and castor oil from India (Ovviooils.com, $22).

10. OFF! FamilyCare Tropical Fresh Insect Repellent

Bug repellents that don't actually smell like stinky bug sprays

For those not fazed by DEET, tried-and-true OFF! offers a low DEET-formula spray with a touch of a tropical scent that allows you to play all day, safe from mosquitoes and chiggers (Drugstore.com, $6).

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