I've been using straight stuff but have been thinking of diluting it just to help with the smell! It is so powerful my 3 kids and husband won't come near me while it's in my hair. I wish it was a cleaner, more dissipating scent like white vinegar, but alas, it's so sour and potent!! I smell like rotten apples :-) but my scalp feels good. Actually when the scent stays, I just notice it when I'm wetting my hair to wash it again. I ask my kids to tell me and they say it doesn't smell unless they get right up against my scalp (kids are so honest!) I have very thick coarse, medium length hair so I don't know if it's just hard for me to rinse it out or if my thick hair actually shields the scent a little bit. Anyway....that's my experience.