4 natural ways to reduce durian fruit odour

– By Rob Barry (celebrity chef)

Durian is considered the ‘King of Fruit’ in South East Asia. The reasons are simple – it tastes delicious, and a high concentration of vitamins and minerals mean it is a great exotic health food.

While some durian lovers report the smell as pleasantly sweet, others complain of an overpowering aroma.

Durian has been described by some to smell like rotten onions or sewerage. Researchers seem to have identified that the reason for durian’s strong smell is the presence of sulphur compounds in the fruit. However, that knowledge will help you little should you don’t like the smell though.

So if the smell is a problem, what can you do?

We have 5 natural ways to address the odour of durian for you, so you can enjoy its delicious taste along with the many health benefits it offers:

The same researchers who identified sulphur compounds as the key driver of durian’s odour also identified the presence of a compound called 5-Hydroxy-methyl-furfural (5-HMF) in durian husk and seeds. Importantly, this compound seems to neutralise the lingering durian odour. Use this knowledge to your advantage and use the husk and seeds to help wash hands, and deodorise the fridge, car or other areas if you find the smell a problem.

Washing your hands with soap after preparing or eating durian may not help reduce the odour. However, using sliced cucumber is surprisingly effective at reducing odour. If this cucumber fails to do the trick, we recommend using alcohol based sanitiser.



Citrus compounds are very good at neutralising the smell of durian. As a result, drinking or gargling citrus based drinks including lemon juice can effectively remove durian smell from your breath. Lemon wedges and pieces can also effectively reduce durian odour in the fridge, car and other spaces.


Small amounts of baking soda placed in containers effectively absorb durian odour in the fridge, car and other spaces.

Have you tried durian before? Is something you love or hate?

Regardless, any aromatic experience, good or bad, resulting from eating durian, the great taste and numerous health benefits are hard to ignore – give it a try.

Here are 4 simple options to try durian for the first time:

If you want to be more adventurous, check out more recipes at the ‘year of the durian’ website here.

What do you think about the odour of Durian? Is it a problem? Or do you like the smell?

Let us know via comments here, or on our Facebook page.