I actually enjoy the smell of garlic on my fingers (and it wards off vampires), but I couldn’t resist buying a bottle of Lavamani dello chef Italian liquid soap the other day while shopping for a birthday present at Merz Apothecary. The name means “it washes the chef’s hands,” and the 300 ml. pump-action bottle ($8) sports a plump, beaming, mustachioed cookie boasting of the stuff’s ability to eliminate onion, garlic, and fish odors. Online sources claim it contains Sicilian lemon juice, though that’s just for the 12-pack box of hand wipes ($9). The soap, powered by rosemary and sage–has good mojo too–it isn’t tested on animals, nor does it contain any petroleum. The clerks at Merz told me they get tons of Internet orders for it, and it’s flying off their warehouse shelves in such quantities (five at a time in some cases) that they suspect it’s being used in restaurant kitchens.

At home I smashed up a bunch of old, rank garlic cloves, rubbed them all over my mitts, and dadgummit if it didn’t just dissolve most (but not all) of that good funk away. But how would it stand up to the Limburger that’s been festering in a sealed plastic container at the back of the fridge since early last month? Limburger, God love it, is capable of imprinting the most persistent miasma imaginable on the digits.

Soap-2, Nefarious Forces of Fetor-0