When I talk to people about perfume, I find that many people can create a perfume timeline of their life. Certain perfumes remind them of certain eras of their life. For some people an entire decade can be summed up with one or two “signature” perfumes. I’ve never really been exclusive to one perfume so creating a perfume timeline would be near impossible for me. However, I could do this with hair products. Throughout the years I have been loyal to certain hair products. I could define most of the periods of my life with a corresponding hair product. I can remember the fruity aroma of No-Tear Strawberry Shortcake Shampoo from childhood. I can remember when I didn’t want to use that anymore because my cool teenage cousins with teased-out perms were using Revlon Outrageous. In middle school, I remember it only took a little bit of Finesse to care for my bright red henna. High school could be summed up with Herbal Essences and Aveda for my long 60’s era Cher hair. In college, I had a beehive and went through cans of Aquanet, yeah, with fragrance for maximum beehive authenticity. Oh, and I loved Umberto Giannini Sleek & Straight Shampoo & Conditioner just for the smell.
I’ve always used oils like apricot kernel, jojoba and coconut in my hair. But, these don’t stand out in my olfactory memory like those drugstore functional scents. These memories had me thinking about hair products that smell good (and thinking about those that don’t). I realize that due to my hair care “loyalty”, I have less exposure to hair products than I do perfume. Out of the ones that I have tried, I think the following stand-out for smelling great.
Shampoo & Conditioners
Philosophy Amazing Grace Shampoo, Shower & Bath Gel – OK, so these 3-in-1 products have always been crappy in quality in my opinion. And this formula is pretty crappy as a shampoo (maybe works better with oily or thin hair). Anyway, it does smell good and that is what this list is about. Hair products that smell good vs. hair products that are the best. Retails for $24 at Sephora.
Herbal Essences Smooth Collection Shampoo & Conditioner – I admit that this may have made the list because of my personal nostalgia. But, I really do like the scent of this “original” formula. It’s a clean rose. Retails for about $5 each at drugstore.com.
Victoria’s Secret So Sexy Nourish Shampoo & Conditioner – So, the smell is a clean floral but it actually lingers in the hair longer than any other shampoo and conditioner that I’ve ever used. When using this, my hair smells “fresh” until I wash it again. Retails for $12 each at Victoria’s Secret.
Honorable mentions: Kiehl’s Rice & Wheat Volumizing Shampoo ($18 at Nordstrom). – I haven’t tried this one but a perfume pal via Twitter says it smells like Chanel Beige. Malin + Goetz Cilantro Conditioner ($22 at beauty.com) – Cilantro naturally contains aldehydes, so this is a “clean green” scent.It’s a nifty scent for a hair product.
Moroccanoil Treatment – When I threw the question “What hair care products smell the best?” on Twitter, this would was brought up numerous times. And I agree. Morroccanoil’s success is due mostly to its aroma. There are plenty of knock-offs out there but it’s the smell that distinguishes them from the original. I mean, this treatment smells so good that the brand has even made a candle! They know we love the smell. Retails for $43 at Nordstrom.
Aftelier Body Oil & Hair Elixir – Each one of these all-natural fragrances smell amazing. I love them all. These are a blend of natural oils that are great for thick, dry or curly hair. Prices range from $40-$60 at Aftelier.Full review.
Honorable mentions: Carol’s Daughter Monoi Hair Mask ($32 at Sephora) – It’s a coconut floral; a very tropical beach fragrance. Yves Rocher Traditional Tiare Oil ($16 at Yves Rocher) – Still with the tropical theme here. This is a coconut gardenia oil.
Oscar Blandi Jasmine Oil Serum – This is a “clean” jasmine fragrance that could easily translate to a bath and body line. It also helps that this ‘cone based product does wonderful things for my straight, thick hair. Retails for $35 at Sephora.
Aveda Smooth Infusion Style-Prep Smoother – Actually every Aveda product should be on this list. That brand has mastered effective yet amazing smelling hair care. One of my personal favorites is this smoothing product. Rose and sandalwood. Love it. Retails for $24 at Aveda.
Philip B. Russian Amber Imperial Dry Shampoo – This line is crazy expensive but I am willing to pay for this dry shampoo because I think of it as perfume too. It has a sweet amber aroma. If you have bangs, I’m sure you’ve made friends with a good dry shampoo. If you want one that smells like perfume, give this one a try. Retails for $40 at beauty.com.
Honorable mentions: Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Hair Spray (available at salons)- Smells like ginger; really distinct scent for the line. Everything Aveda. Seriously.
Do you guys remember Healthy Sexy Hair’s pumpkin scented stuff? I mean it was so wrong but so right. It made my hair smell like pumpkin pie. My husband used to go crazy for that stuff. I mean, I think he was my husband then. He could have been my beau. Anyway, it was pretty nifty. They had a chocolate too. It was so wrong that it was just wrong.
I’m dying to expand my “vocabulary” of great-smell’n hair products. I’d love to know which hair care products you like for their aroma. If you could create your “dream” scent hair product, what would the note/s be?