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Curly Nikki

“What’s That Smell?!”

By January 27th, 202157 Comments

“What’s That Smell?!”
AishaSaidIt writes:

This morning my husband asked, “What’s that smell? Is that your hair?” And then proceeded to stick his face in my hair only to find out it was (how embarrassing). Okay, first, the whole myth about being married negates you from any responsibility to “keep the sexy” (as Curly Nikki would say) is totally bogus. It just makes it harder to keep the mystery of me being the delicate flower that I am (giggles). For instance, the razors for shaving body hair, the creams for the “lady stach” removal, and other feminine products I care not to mention here, really sheds a light on what once was a mystery when I was a girlfriend vs. “The Wife”. Okay, back on topic- – that smell he pointed out was the fresh coat of a mix of essential oils I used that morning to untwist my hair. Mainly it was probably the Tea Tree oil which tends to smell like medicine when it’s not dry. I’m in the middle of a change in the way I take care of my hair, switching from Carol’s Daughter smelly goods to Ayurvedic powders and more basic products like shea butter and coconut oil. So far, it has done wonders for my hair but is it worth not smelling pretty for my Mr.? Should I eliminate the Tea Tree oil all together, should I try to mask it away, or should I just say deal with it fabulous hair has a price?

Can you relate? Help her out!

CN Says:
Hubby hates anything that smells of medicine, almonds, or Frankincense & Myrrh. I grew tired of him looking at me with the ‘I just caught the stomach virus’ face, so I nixed those products. For me, it was easier to find something that yielded similar results with a ‘frusher’ (as my cousin would say, lol!) scent. Gotsta be frush. He gets annoyed now, because every time I use something new, I ask “Are you cool… how do you feel about this one?” He rolls his eyes and says, “one time… one time I say you smell like a baby’s ass, and I can’t live it down?” My response, “not a chance”.


  • Anonymous says:

    TTO is a good oil, but the smell that lingers on in your hair is no good. I hope the smell goes away . I washed my hair last night trying to get the smell out.

  • Anonymous says:

    I love the smell of tea tree oil — in fact, I can't get eough of it. Men I know who "hate it" have (1) preconceived notions that women should only like "girly" scents; (2) don't complain about the smell of turpentine or paint thinners, and tea tree's a natural terpine, or turpenine; and (3) have little fascination with the scents amd aromas of freshly cut wood!!

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm wearing hair extensions right now, and i can't take it off until the end of the week…i've had them in for a while now, and its beginning to smell weird, especially today when i wore them down 🙁 how can i make it smell better???

    I would really appreciate the advice!!!

  • The Natural Diva says:

    oh neem oil makes me gag! but tea tree is a necessity in my routine.. i spritz rose water or lavender water anytime i want a refresher or cover up

  • Rella says:

    I am really surprised nobodys mentioned Neem Oil. The pong it gives off.. I will never forget!

  • Jasmine says:

    i would switch to a girly smelling oil. funk is not my style, and my boo loves to smell my hair because she knows i will always smell great.

  • Mahogany Soul says:

    i've grown to like herbal/natural smelling products. i like the smell of henna, unrefined shea butter, etc. in general i like products that don't over power.

  • Jae Manolo says:

    LOL @ CN's discussion w/her hubby

  • b. says:

    Falling OUT over that response! That is funny.

    I tried tea tree oil once before going to CHURCH.

    That was a bad idea.

    Soo…now if I need it for my scalp, I use it as part of a (super simple) prepoo. I spray it diluted on my scalp about 15 minutes before I know I'm going to wash my hair. I only use it for my scalp. I haven't read the comments yet but I'm sure there are some good ideas. I try not to use anything too strong (looking @ you Miss Jessie's) b/c after a while it starts to get to me. I feel there are too many options nowadays to limit myself to a product that doesn't keep the peace at home. I wouldn't want him smelling funky either (funky being relative).

  • Anonymous says:

    In my experience, the hair starts to smell bad when more products are layered and combined onto one another. I don't think you can "mask" a smell, you just create a new smell and that usually just smells worse. I read some of the combos of "butters" and treatments people post on some of these forums and I can smell them through the screen 🙂
    Scent is important to me. I only use Kinky Curly knot today and sweet almond oil. My hair smells faintly fruity but more like nothing.

  • Breanna says:

    In reference to Melodee at 9:13pm:

    Thats a good website that I use from time to time for getting unrefined and refined shea butters,scented oils,lotions and cream. They have a good variety of different products under the product categories section. You can click it to show all of them at once and plus the prices and customer service is great.

    Another good site to check on buying oils:

  • Jessi says:

    lmao @ smelling like a baby's ass … I'm sorry, the whole rest of the article became completely null and void when I saw that line. Only a man …

  • Brown Eyes Girl says:

    OMG! This is too funny b/c lately my hair has been smelling a hot mess. You would think that i've been working out intensely and have completely ditched the notion of washing my hair completely. The crazy part is that my hair care routine hasn't really changed. But the funk factor has increased measurably. It's more than a lil embarrassing b/c i can smell it, lol. I'm a single girl that is used to getting complements about how wonderful my hair smells. I just can't deal *throws hands in the air*. I also have extreme dry itchy scalp that i've been diligently trying to fix. So now i'm dealing with a head full of flakes and funk. At this point I can only ask for your prayers, lol. Lord help us all!

  • Tomika says:

    These posts are verrry funny, a babies ass, roach spray, the cat…lmao…

    It is so funny because I sprayed TTO in my hair and laid in the bed. I pulled up this post and now I am laying at the foot of the bed.
    I have a dry, itchy scalp and TTO helps that. This is a new treatment so my hunny hasn't said anything yet but I don't want to give him a chance too. Thought I was the only one that could smell it LOL.. But help a sista out. Where can I find these oils to help the smell?

  • Anonymous says:

    @ Anon 9:05 p.m. Roach spray? LOL (big time). I thought cookies and cake and obiah water were too funny. But roach spray? That would be my grandmother!

    Anyway currently single, so I can fake the funk as much as I want to. So far no one is running away from me at work. But we'll see when it gets warmer what happens. I'm sure by then I'll have to adjust some products.

    Thanks for the laughs CN and all.

  • Curly Hairdo Ideas says:

    If you're using coconut oil and shea butter and mixing your own – you don't HAVE to add a scent. Just another option. 🙂

    Just as a warning, in my ever-so-humble opinion – NEVER use anything smelling like patouli! GROSS!!! I think that is theeeeeee worst smell ever! and people put it in hair products! yikes!! It's waaaay worse than TTO, believe me! lol

    Good luck!

  • Anonymous says:

    I would keep using the Ayurvedic redmidies but save the tea tree for the day and I keep CD Black Vanilla when I wan to freshen up the natural sent before bed.

  • Anonymous says:


  • Melodee says:


    All of you ladies and especially Nikki make my day! LOL

    My husband has told me at different times (depending on what products I use of course)that my hair smells like fruit,kool-aid, and even a cigar! lol…

    I just try to keep my distance from him when I am using something stinky on my hair like Wild Growth Hair Oil. (smells like something that you rub on an old person… yuck)

    I would like to know where can you purchase essential oils, anybody out there know of any good websites?

  • Anonymous says:

    With all due respect to the folks at Carol's Daughter because most of their products are very effective, but the smells are just too strong… too 'high-pitched'. I used one of the body creams – my husband said I smelled like a Glade plug-in. I used the Hair Milk – one of my coworkers asked "who the hell was using roach spray in here?" I kid you not!

  • Anonymous says:

    These are pure hilarity!

  • Anonymous says:

    Smells are a funny thing. what may smell good to one person may stink to another. I like tea tree oil and rosemary smells. Things like sandalwood and some of carols daughter products have a strong smell that my husband hated. He has never complained about the oil but i do use them sparingly.

  • Anonymous says:

    Yeah my husband said my hair smelled like popcorn when I used unrefined coconut oil. lol

  • sblazer227 says:

    my bf loves my hair when i use the carols daughter products but that tea tree oil is a killer. I love what coconut oil does for my hair but i hate the smell and so does he.

  • AishaSaidIt says:

    You all have been very helpful and some of you got jokes (cakes and cookies HA HA ) I just wanted to say thank you very much. I going to try to mask it with some of your suggestions.

  • Anonymous says:

    I like my hair ro smell good but some products are questionable. Here are ways I deal with that problem:

    My ACV/Water/Honey/Tea Tree EO/Ecalyptus EO rinse smells…interesting but it dissapates when I style using my Shea Moisture DTM and air-dry overnight.

    I only use JBCO on my edges as night so the earthy smell can dissapate.

    Mixing my unrefined shea butter with aloe vera gel and honey makes is smell nutty/sweet instead of just nutty. My SO says it smells like chocolate. 🙂

  • Butterfly3000 says:

    I have Vatika oil in my hair today (pre-poo) and I get a whiff of it every now and then. Its OK. No one at work has said anything but we have employees that wear patchouli oil or sandalwood and that by far outweighs my oils. If it don't smell good, I can't use it. Scent is one of my stronger senses

  • Anonymous says:


    You are too much!!!!!!!!!!1

  • Beth says:


    Lavender essential is a good compliment to tea tree oil. It is a mild scent that most folks just associate with cleanliness.

    I pretty much only use natural products too, but I'm also lucky in that my husband doesn't like artificial fragrances anyway. I've been using rosewater in my moisturizing spray (it's just that, vegetable glycerine, & distilled water), and my husband likes the smell of that. Rose absolute essential oil can be added to most any carrier oil/moisturizing oil, including coconut. I just started using henna, and when I made my mix, I included cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger to get rid of any adverse smell, and because the warming that comes from the cinnamon and ginger is pleasant 🙂

    Like you, I use coconut oil and shea butter for my hair; they're among other ingredients in a hair butter I make. That butter includes peppermint, cedarwood, clary sage, and rosemary essential oils, which are all good for the hair and scalp, but I make sure to put in a good amount of lavender essential oil as well. It ends up just smelling fresh for the most part.

    The one thing that my husband has disliked is the smell that some shea butters can have. I've started using an organic, fair trade shea butter from Mountain Rose Herbs that doesn't have a bad smell, and works well in my various lotions and potions. You can find it here:

    Good luck! (I'm bpjedi on the forums)

  • Pecancurls says:

    Anon @ 12:40 pm, I am feeling you on the Jamaican Black Castor Oil (pee-yoo!!), but man it has helped to grow my hair so much. I mix it with a little lavendar oil to take some of the funk out. 🙂 Dh does not seem to mind my various scents as I experiment since I am a transitioning newbie.

  • Anonymous says:

    LOL! At Curly Nikki's reply. So far I haven't had a problem but I am single right now. My daddy thought I smelled like a island when I use my coconut mixture. The oil my stylist uses is kind of strong to me and I think someone at my job said I smell like tanning lotion so I think that is a positive.

    -Brittney E'Lise

  • Anonymous says:

    laughing at Nikki and your husband. You guys are too cute, smelling like a baby butt.

  • Jeannette says:

    I use a strict Ayurvedic Hair care regimen and add essential oils that have real nice fragrance smells like lavender, vanilla etc (I consider myself a mixologist) and I must say with the addition of those nice smelling essential oils, I have no problems with my husband and the smell of my hair.

  • Jeannette says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Nelly says:

    I can definitely relate to this. I have used Rosemary oil in my hair several times because it stimulates the scalp and encourages growth and have received that strange stare and the "what's that smell?" comment from a range of people. From students that I work with, people on the subway, even my SO. Although I know I can benefit from using it I HAD to eliminate it from my regimen. No one wants to walk around smelling like Vicks Vapor Rub.

  • sarah says:

    all of my hair products smell like cookies and cake, which makes me feel some kinda way since i'm chubby. fat chick smelling like food, smh.

  • Anonymous says:

    I use tea tree oil in my mixes as a natural preservative but you can mask the scent with rosemary (which can also be used as a preservative, it has a strong smell so the amount used should be subject to the person's discretion) and lavender oil. I have also added a few drops of my favorite body essential oil "Lavender Vanilla" and I have gotten many compliments on the smell – HTH.


  • satin doll says:

    Lol @ the stories on here…

    My hubby likes the smell of most of my products, but in order for me to use them, I have to like the smell. I do occasionally use tea tree oil, but I use other oils to mask the smell, such as peppermint oil. When I use them, my hubby tells me I smell like a peppermint patty, but the smell is bearable!

  • metro cntry girl says:

    That's funny. Every now and again my boys will tell me that my "hair smells like poop". I can never smell it. My hair is always clean but apparently certain hair products don't smell so good when used together. I need to keep a hair journal because I'm still not sure which ones are the offending products (clearly a sign that I have too many.) But I have a feeling that it's probably the more medicinal smelling stuff that doesn't play well with others.

  • BreukelensFinest says:

    lol this story is so funny because i get this in a good and bad way. sometimes when i try to deep condition all day, i get a "whats that smell?" in a bad way because i have things in my hair to make it healthy, not to make it smell good. but when i use things like shea moisture, its great! i would say that you can mask it and that there are things like hair perfume that can help. some things like dr miracles and carol's daughter can smell awful but be great for your hair. i say mask it, cuz some things we do to our hair can smell down right awful!

  • Breanna says:

    I meant to say my god the cat and then the rest of my statement lol….

  • adrien says:

    i guess you gotta ask yourself if that particular oil is THAT detrimental to the health of your hair? try peppermint instead of tea trea. you will smell like christmas lol. a lil goes a looooong way! tea tree smells like minty pine sol to me.

    if it was something i can't live without i think i'd really minimize the usage of it for my significant other. maybe use it in a DC that you rinse vs a leave in to at least minimize the smell. then maybe add a complimentary scent to help. citrus scents are good with minty scents i.m.o.

  • Anonymous says:

    'god cat' (sound of crickets)

  • Anonymous says:

    Hahaha, one day I was experimenting with a hair rinse and everyone in my house had a fit. Needless to say I haven't done it again. The comments were terrible, lol. "Eww, what is that smell?" "Lawd, is that some obiah water"

  • Allie says:

    LMAO @ a babies ass. Not married yet but good to know what I have to look forward to…:)

  • Breanna says:

    To anon at 12:23pm

    You are brave to wear that stuff to bed lol.. I remember that I did that once, and my god cat had a fit. Poor thing hissed at me when she came to me when I was laying on the pillow, and the expression on her face as she sniffed the Tea Tree Oil was to funny. I've learned that if you use this stuff to do it on the weekend, or just only twice a week. But definitely never before going to work, don't want to have them dropping like flies at the…lol…

  • Bree says:

    LOL that is to funny. I' am usually sensitive to smells so that is one of the main things I look for in a product. And since I' am not living by myself but with my roommate I try to be conscious of her sense of smell too like I would do my bf. But I don't care how great a product is if I can't stand the smell I' am nixing it. Personally, I usually go straight to the coconut/vanilla scents because you usually can't go wrong there. But like suggested you could mask it with another scent or just substitute it for an oil that gives the same effect

  • Anonymous says:

    I just took a big whiff of my hair because I have never thought about the smell, and I don't smell anything really. But I do love the way some products smell and will definitely not use stuff that I don't like. Honestly I wish everything smelled like Deva One conditioner I love the fresh lemony smells over the herbal ones, but that's how I like my perfume as well, clean green scents over spicy or heavier scents. I also use aveda products because I love the way they smell.

  • Breanna says:

    Yeah that Tea Tree Oil and Rosemary Oils are killer with the smells. That's why I only use just a little bit of those when mixing with other oils. However I love my Grapefruit Oil and Grapeseed Oil. Just make up a code word to let your hubby know when not to get to close to you on the days that you are doing the Tea Tree Oil treatments. I'm sure that he will gladly step back and let you have it, and in the end he will know that its for the best :).

  • AusetAbena says:

    Have you considered adding fragrances oils to certain products to give it a better smell? Also, try peppermint essential oil in place of the tea tree oil. Or if you know it smells while not dry, lock your hubby out of the bathroom while you do your hair. LOL. Just some thoughts.

    BTW, Cute story Nik.

  • Anonymous says:

    Now that is “funty”… my man never says anything but once I was doing a tea tree treatment and a few of his friends were there and one of the guys made a comment about the smell. I told him to deal with it. He is at our house so much so it must not be that bad… I am very sensitive to smell and I can’t use Carol’s Daughter because the scents that it used to enhance her products make me sick to my stomach…. Just the smell of the hair milk… omg… I had to wash it out ASAP..

  • Anonymous says:

    HAHAHAHAH first I have to laugh at CN hubby's responds to the "one time I say you smell like a baby's ass". HHAAHA good one.

    Mine would be the Jamaica black castor oil. I don't even like that smell so I can't even blame him. Other then that, nothing I use bothers him. I think it bothers me more then him most fo the time because I don't like products that smell like perfumed products.

  • Anonymous says:

    The smell I find most offensive when it comes to hair is DIRTY hair. It is the most disgusting thing imaginable. I have walked into a room and smelled dirty hair that permeates the entire area. To me, this is downright gross and makes listening to or taking the offender seriously impossible- no matter how intelligent, nice, talented s/he may be.
    Overall, I tend to like a light floral scent. I have added a few drops of floral essential oils to DC or leave-ins to achieve sweet smelling hair. Most of all, however, I keep my hair CLEAN!

  • luvmylocs says:

    girl nikki that dialogue with your hubby was my funny for the day! thanks!

    btw, i'm still single but i'm very "scent conscious" so i won't use a product if i don't like the scent and i'd likely ditch a product that my man didn't like.

  • Thrifty curly says:

    LMBO @ CN…..too cute.. with the whole hubby thing

  • Anonymous says:

    My hair has to smell good. I actually use a little vanilla oil in my products! I can't stand funky smelling hair. My hair needs to feel clean (even when drowning in products), soft and it needs to smell good! I'd get rid of the tea tree oil before hubby starts wearing a mask to bed.

    P.S CN you're so funny! Lol.

  • Anonymous says:

    Well, I went to a class on "natural beauty" and they mixed some Geranium oil into some coconut oil and passed it out, and I brought it home and smelled it and nearly gagged.
    I already use coconut oil and find that smell pleasant and unnoticeable. The Geranium was to my nose one of the worst things I've ever smelled, and while I like Tea Tree, it does have a mediciney kind of smell and I don't think I'd add it to any oils either.
    For hair oils, I prefer food smells, and my guess is that those are the ones least likely to offend other people.
    Seriously, I can't get over the geranium oil. I threw that sample out!!

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