I was told from a native mexican he had great success masking his scent by packing his clothing in a basket of apples, claims he had great success; personally, I believe a lot of the chemicals on sale for scent masking work poorly and only line the pockets of marketers zeN
Having hunted and photographed animals in the west for years, I haven't found that elk, mule and blacktail deer are all that sensitive to the smell of campfire smoke. I have found that being to exposed to such smoke when food is being cooked over it has a tremendous effect on animals...they leave in a hurry!!!
All things being equal, it is always best to be scent free, however, my experience has been that using the wind to your advantage is far more important than anything else.
For every rule there is an exception. Where I live in the Eel River Valley of "Superior" California, scent is not an issue as the deer here live on and in the farms and cities and are quite use to the smell of humans.
Scent Detection - How Does it Work? (Featured Article)
A tip I learned is to take leaves, grass, shrubs and any other plant life including nuts and Acorns, from the area you are going to hunt. Boil all these things together for approx 45 mins to an hour. Let cool and place into a spray bottle. Spray your clothes liberally when you are going out. When i have done this, I have had a few instances where deer have been up wind of me and still passed me one time as close as 15yds while on ground stand. Give it a shot and see if it works for you.
When hunting whitetails there are many different languages being spoken afield that I key on when outdoors. All these little creatures living around whitetails have something to tell us if we are willing to listen.
My favorite tattletales of the outdoors are a handful of little birds that live in my state of Ohio. Maybe yours too. A tip for the upcoming season.
There are Blue Jays, Cardinals, Chickadees, Killdeer, and Sparrows that all have language...