Google Header -->
Skip to main content
Curly Nikki

Do You Smell That?- Fragrance in Hair Products

By January 27th, 202118 Comments

Do You Smell That?- Fragrance in Hair Products

Tammy Goodson of CurlyChics

One of the things I love about the Aveda store is the aroma that greets me when I walk by and ultimately pulls me in the front glass doors. Almost all of their products have an appealing scent to me. I am instantly drawn to a pleasant scent and will make a purchase based on just that. Yeah, I know it’s crazy. Clearly a great smell does not automatically equal up to par performance; however, the mind can make you think otherwise. The power of the scent!

Power of a scent:

• Nostalgia – a certain smell can instantly take you back to a time and place in your life. For example, when I am in the vicinity of a Mexican restaurant, I can instantly see myself drinking a tall frozen margarita with salt on my vacation to Mexico. I’m instantly there! To keep those positive thoughts going and recapture that moment in time, I will most likely stop in that Mexican restaurant.

• Product Identification – some companies have distinct smells that are unique only to their product and are known for that, which is important from a marketing standpoint. Product recall/recollection has a major impact on customer retention. Case and point – Bath and Body Works has a signature scent called Jasmine Vanilla. I love love love this stuff and everyone knows it. I purchase the body lotion, shower gel, body spray, hand soap, candles, etc. I am a fan of the entire line and I know if I want this scent I must return to Bath and Body Works. I have been a happy customer for many years.

Studies show that product scent at the point of sell triggers more sales than signage. Makes sense right? Your sense of smell will activate quicker than your sight sense. You’ve heard people refer to the arrival of heavy cologne wearers by saying “I can smell him/her from around the corner”.

Scent can also be a bad thing:
• Some people have fragrance allergies
• Some simply do not want scents in their hair products and go the unscented route.
• Some have medical reactions to scents (headaches, nausea, etc.)
• Personal preference – the scent I love may be the scent that you hate

What about you? What role does scent play in your quest for products?

Sharing hairstories and life experiences from a curl’s perspective. Find Tammy at her blog, Curlychics, on Twitter, and Facebook.


  • Ms. Em. says:

    I am always leery of products that contain "fragrance". Those bad boys always trigger a migraine for me. Apparently there are some chemicals present in the synthetics that are disagreeable. If I have to do fragrance they tend to be botanical extracts but I prefer non-scented.

  • Mira Hair Oil says:

    Great Blog.Thanks for sharing these beautiful and helpful tips.

  • Lysheba89 says:

    I'll endure not-so-great smells, but I will also buy a product based on what I think is an amazing scent as well. I love love love good smelling things, the sense of smell is one I really appreciate though I think it is one of the more under appreciated senses that we have.

    I am really partial to vanilla, coconut,caramel, overall rich decadent smells,

    as well as woodsy, incense-y, and sweet spices like cardamom, clove, cinnamon,

    then fruit scents, (especially exotic citruses like bergamot and yuzu but also scents like mango and apple)

    and also rich florals like rose, jasmine, tuberose, lilac, honey suckle, gardenia

    I really like scents….

  • Anonymous says:

    I do not care for scents Don't wear perfume. I do however like the smell of vanilla, Hello Hydration, and Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque. Whomever I was seeing at the time loved the scent of my products, esp the Shea Moisture line with the apricot packaging.

  • Anonymous says:

    I love the smell of vanilla, coconut (natural, not artificial), jasmine, and lavender (only in hair products). For the most part, I don't like hair products that has too much fragrance in it. I prefer to wear my fragrance in the form of perfume, so I don't like my hair products clashing with my perfume.

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm the opposite of the first commenter…I'll take herbal or citrus over flowery or sweet any day. In fact I don't do sweet at all — I HATE that candy smell some products marketed to black folks have — but I'll consider flowery if there's an herbal or woodsy note beneath it. One of the things I love about L'Oreal's Everpure line is its scent…it's kinda-sorta like Aveda but not as complex.

  • Anonymous says:

    I love the henna coloring options simply for strengthening my hair but the only draw-back I’ve found when using henna is that it does loosen the natural curl pattern over repeated use… My natural hair texture is 3b/3c so it’s more wavy/frizzy (not really kinky) with some 3c curlier spots so I didn’t like that it loosened my curl & made it more wavy straight… I find that I really have to use more curl enhancers now — than I would have — prior to using henna… Personally, I think henna is a great option for girls/women – w/kinky curly hair – that want to have a natural method to loosen their own curl pattern…

  • Anonymous says:

    I can't take smells at all. Smelling the same thing over and over, even if its pleasant will give me a headache. I don't even wear perfume. I've tried samples of Oyin's Juices and Berries and Qhemet products… after just a day I had to wash it out with a throbbing headache.

  • Anonymous says:

    I used to say any scent was good as long as I didn't notice it.
    Now, thanks to Darcy's Botanicals, I want my hair to smell "yummy".

  • Anonymous says:

    As a healthcare provider I have to be very careful about the scents I wear in the hospital. I always reach for unscented or very very lightly scented lotions and avoid wearing any kind of perfume when dressing for work. I try to do the same with my hair products. I like for my hair to smell clean and fresh but the last thing I want to do is to use heavily scented products and cause a patient some sort of respiratory distress. So, I try to find products that have very light fresh clean scents that still give my hair exactly what it needs.

  • Anonymous says:

    I treat hair care products like I do foods: if it don't smell good, it ain't going on my plate. Love fruits, herbs and citrussy flavors…And yes, that's me in the aisle opening every bottle and taking a good whiff.

    Miss TeeTee

  • Anonymous says:

    I need scents! There is nothing more exhilarating that exhaling during a stressull moment and relaxing to the scent of your hair. My favs are the oils from They are body oils but I use them in my hair as well. An the owner is amazing! She will concoct anything you want! The Ginger Peach and Sexy Amber are my favorites.

  • Carla says:

    I love scented products. I am both drawn to sweet, desert and fruity scents and also herb and citrus essential oils. I love fresh rosemary in my hair rinses and add the essential oil to my scalp oils. I'm not too crazy about artificial floral scents.

  • Stephanie says:

    I'm not allergic to any scent, not that I know of anyways. But I LOVE sickly sweet scented hair products (if it says coco mango, I'm expecting it to smell like chocolate and mango) and I always ask the maker of the product if they could adjust MY product that I purchase.

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm more parcial to smells like lemmongrass, florals,Jasmine, and aromatherapy scents (Love Those smells). However, I CAN NOT DEAL with Coconut or Lavender smells…it gives me a headache!

  • DiscoveringNatural says:

    The function of the product and its ability to do what it says it will do usually outweighs the fragrance, for me. However, I have had to adjust this thinking since going natural.

    Case in point, I bought Wild Growth Hair Oil (white bottle), and started using it on my hair. It worked great and I endured the smell. Key word – "I". The problem was I am a married lady and didn't think of how the smell was affect my "bed-mate". He was so nice about it, and endured the smell for over a month… until he couldn't take it anymore. I tried to camouflage the smell with other oils, but to no avail. I had to give up the product due to the fragrance, and my hubby's "sensitive" nose. LOL.

  • Anonymous says:

    I prefer products with a light or fresh fragrance or even non scented. I have in the past used strongly perfumed products that smells ok in its container but once it's been in my hair for a couple of days just smells bad.

  • T Monique says:

    I dont care for the herbal/medicinal smell. My great grandmother was truly as naturalist as am I but I was often put off by the scent that herbal products have. I really dont care for peppermint, rosemary or tea tree. I love the scent of almond oil, hibiscus and jasmine.

    My children often ask me can they smell their hair products before allowing me to apply it to their hair. My youngest daughter who I affectionately call Banana said that her teachers always say her hair smells yummy. She's 2. My oldest daugther whose 4 says that her friends at preschool always comment that her hair smells like cake.

Leave a Reply