It is a question which I faced when I was in Senior year in high school, I used my hands to handle phenol which has turned pink due to oxidation, I washed my hands with all kind of soaps but smell in hands didn't go for 3-4 days. Why was it, did it bond to my skin? What I could have done to remove smell?
As an acidic compound, phenol started to degrade the protective layers of your skin, and partially diffused into deeper layers. This, and because of the moderate solubility in water are the reason the scent of phenol was still recognisable after some time. While phenol is better soluble in ethanol and methanol, one refrains from these solvents to clean the skin because these actually would help phenol to reach even deeper tissues.
Your writing that it was recognisable even after 3-4 days, even after extensive rinsing with water and soap, hints to an extended exposure of the skin towards pure phenol, which however should be avoided.
Not visible to human eye, but thanks to antiseptic power, it killed some germs, too. Earlier in times, it was known and used as carbolic acid.