come up smelling like a rose

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come up smelling like a rose

To maintain a favorable reputation despite involvement in a scandalous or otherwise negative situation. By reporting his colleagues as soon as he learned of their dishonest business practices, the CEO came up smelling like a rose.
See also: come, like, rose, smell, up

come up smelling like a rose

 and come up smelling like roses
Fig. to end up looking good or respectable after being involved in some difficult or notorious affair. I was surprised that my congressional representative came up smelling like a rose after his colleagues investigated him.
See also: come, like, rose, smell, up