After doing ghusl and putting on the ihram garments, I put some scented cream on my body with the intention of putting on perfume. What do I have to do?
Praise be to Allah.
Putting perfume on the head and body at the time of entering ihram – i.e., after doing ghusl and before forming the intention of entering ihram – is Sunnah. That is because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) put on perfume for his ihram. It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: I used to put perfume on the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), using the best perfume he could find, until I could see the glistening of the perfume on his head and beard.
Narrated by al-Bukhaari (5923).
What is meant by the glistening is the shine of the musk in the parting of the Prophet’s hair when he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was in ihram.
If the cream that you put on your body was after doing ghusl and before forming the intention of entering ihram and beginning the rituals, then you do not have to do anything, even if you had already put on the ihram garments.
Rather what is prohibited is to put on any kind of perfume after forming the intention of entering ihram.
But if you did this prohibited action out of ignorance, not knowing that it is prohibited to the pilgrim in ihram, or you had forgotten that, then you do not have to do anything either, but you have to remove the traces of this perfume as much as you can.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said: If a person does any of the actions that are prohibited when in ihram, because he forgot or was unaware of it, he does not have to do anything, but as soon as that excuse ceases to be applicable, he has to stop this prohibited action.
End quote from Fataawa Arkaan al-Islam (536)
But if you put the cream on after you had formed the intention to enter ihram and start the rituals, knowing that this action was one of the things that are prohibited, then you must offer a fidyah, which is one of the following options: either sacrifice a sheep, or feed six poor persons, giving each one half a saa‘, or fast three days, because Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “and do not shave your heads until the Hady reaches the place of sacrifice. And whosoever of you is ill or has an ailment in his scalp (necessitating shaving), he must pay a Fidyah (ransom) of either observing Saum (fasts) (three days) or giving Sadaqah (charity - feeding six poor persons) or offering sacrifice (one sheep)” [al-Baqarah 2:196].
See: Majmoo‘ Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (22/110)
With regard to putting perfume on the ihram garments, that is not permissible, whether that is done before entering ihram or afterwards, because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) forbade the pilgrim in ihram to wear any garment to which perfume has been applied. Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked about perfuming the ihram garments and he said: It is not permissible, because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Do not wear any garment that has been perfumed with saffron or wars (a plant dye).
End quote, Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa by Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (22/9)
And Allah knows best.