Try These Hair Perfumes for Beautifully Scented, Nourished Strands
Try These Hair Perfumes for Beautifully Scented, Nourished Strands
From hair serums and oils to dry shampoos and treatment masks, the haircare aisles are looking a bit crowded nowadays. But all of these products serve distinct purposes for helping you achieve your best hair ever. And while many of these items offer their own unique scent, the primary goal often lies elsewhere. Enter: hair perfumes—an essential for keeping hair smelling lovely while maintaining optimal hair health.
“Hair perfumes are made for the hair and to make hair smell better, whether after a workout, a night out, or just because someone might want fresher smelling strands,” says Manabu Unno, Stylist at Salon Yoshiko at Bergdorf Goodman. “They are meant to leave a refreshing, lasting scent without damaging hair.”
Although most beauty aficionados are keen on smelling great, one might wonder why a standard perfume wouldn’t cut it for hair too. Fair enough. While both products boast a beautiful scent, there are key differences between perfumes formulated for the body and for the hair. It basically comes down to the amount of ethyl alcohol and water in the product. “Hair perfumes will only contain traces of alcohol to not dry out hair,” explains Rashuna Durham, amika Lead Pro Educator and stylist. “Hair perfumes for the most part are quite lightweight and do not weigh hair down like regular perfume or hair oil.”
There are so many beautifully scented and well formulated hair perfumes on the market, and it can be a fun experience to choose one that pairs well with scents you already wear on your body. Blending hair perfume with body perfume will help create your own unique, signature scent that will have others asking “what are you wearing?” all day long. So, keep reading to find your perfect hair perfume, and start spritzing.
How we chose the best hair perfumes
We consulted stylists Unno and Durham, as well as experts from the Good Housekeeping Institute (GHI), which tests countless products to ensure a fair and accurate representation of each item, and sifted through tons of online reviews to find the best hair perfumes available.
This hair perfume from luxury perfumer Maison Francis Kurkdjian was awarded editor’s choice by the Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab experts for its sophisticated blend of amber, floral, and woody scents. It offers the same aroma as the brand’s standard perfume of the same name with a formula better suited for the hair (and a reduced price tag).
If you’re looking to dip your toes into the world of hair perfume without committing to a pricey bottle, try this affordable option from Dove. While this hair perfume is formulated for active lifestyles to get rid of sweat-related odor, it’s a great addition for all hair types and lifestyles with a clean, fresh scent that allows a bit more room between washes. One Amazon reviewer describes the product as having a “nice, clean scent that is light and not overly fragranced.”
Fragrance notes: White tea, jasmine | Key Ingredients: Glycerin, castor oil | Size: 1.7 fl. oz.
For a uniquely scented hair perfume that doubles as a nourishing treatment for dry hair, this product is the way to go. This hair perfume has a bold, balanced scent profile with notes of fruit, floral, and musk. It also contains glycerin and keratin to nourish hair and provide smoothness and shine. One Amazon reviewer writes: “The best stuff ever!!! It's perfect for dry hair, but if you don't have dry hair, all you need is a little. I LOVE this product.”
Fragrance notes: Green apple, peach, rose, cedar, white musk | Key Ingredients: Glycerin, castor oil | Size: 1.7 fl. oz.
This luxurious, hydrating, and shine-enhancing hair perfume was awarded editor’s choice by the Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab experts for its well-rounded formula. “It smells like honey and fresh flowers, and also helps my strands look shiny and smooth, all while not weighing down my hair,” GH Beauty Assistant Katie Berohn says. This sweetly scented elixir works overtime as it nourishes hair with honey, containing “a blend of minerals, vitamins, amino acids and antioxidants.”
This hair perfume has a uniquely balanced scent profile characterized by citrus and warmth. One Good Housekeeping tester says it makes hair smell like she just got a blowout at a fancy French hair salon. Spritz throughout your hair as desired for the great scent as well as UV protection and static reduction.
Fragrance notes: Bergamot, white butterfly jasmine, sandalwood | Key Ingredients: watermelon, lychee, edelweiss flower extracts | Size: 2.0 fl. Oz.
This product is “the essence of amika, bottled,” according to the brand. The hair fragrance contains the signature amika scent of warm vanilla, fresh citrus and spicy sweet clover that is found in all the brand’s products and offers a great way to maintain freshness between washes. “It has an intoxicating, clean scent and it doesn't leave any residue, oils, or build-up on the follicles,” Durham says.
If you’re looking for a more naturally formulated hair fragrance, try this rich vanilla mist formulated for both hair and body. It contains no alcohol, instead harnessing the power of essential oils to provide a lovely scent without sacrificing hair health. “I have moderately sensitive skin, to where all typical perfumed body splashes cause a reaction within a few days of even indirect wear,” one Amazon reviewer writes. “This lovely little line however gives ZERO irritation.”
Fragrance notes: Sultry vanilla and honey-jasmine | Key Ingredients: Essential oils | Size: 6.0 fl. Oz.
If you enjoy a classic fruity-floral scent, look no further than Tocca’s hair fragrance, adapted from their well-loved perfume. This bright, freshly scented hair fragrance promises to induce a luxurious smell without weighing down the hair or making strands feel sticky. “Clean and citrusy notes, such as bitter orange, are energizing but not overpowering, and I love how they combine with the lily scent that comes through,” says GH Beauty Lab senior chemist Sabina Wizemann.
Fragrance notes: Italian blood orange, freesia, spicy lily | Key Ingredients: Panthenol | Size: 1.7 fl. Oz.
Scent your strands in the classic Good Girl fragrance with this expertly formulated hair mist. This hair mist leaves hair beautifully scented with light and dark notes. “The scent is absolutely beautiful and very long lasting,” one Ulta reviewer writes. “If you love CH Good Girl, you will definitely appreciate the hair mist! Highly recommend.”
Unno recommends this hair perfume for a well-rounded fragrance that doesn’t feel overpowering. As an added bonus, the nourishing formula makes for hair that looks as beautiful as it smells. “This hair perfume is gorgeous and is infused with ambrette, a plant that has a musky, amber scent, and is floral and woody,” says Unno. “It is really lightweight and you need very little to get the most out of the scent.”
Yves Saint Laurent has bottled its classic Black Opium fragrance in a formula perfect for scenting your strands. The hair mist is formulated with argan oil to provide softness and shine as well as provide long lasting fragrance. One Nordstrom reviewer writes: “Beautiful bottle, the smell is amazing, and the product feels fantastic on my hair!”
Fragrance notes: White florals, black coffee, vanilla | Key Ingredients: Argan oil | Size: 1.0 fl. Oz.
This hair perfume from Goldwell offers odor protection, static prevention, and leaves hair feeling silky. Add a few spritzes for a warm, clean scent that lasts all day. “A few spritzes of this and my hair was fresh smelling, as if I’d just washed it,” writes one Amazon reviewer.
Another one of Unno’s favorites, this hair mist by Kayali offers a unique warm floral scent. This airy, almost translucent scent is surprisingly long lasting. “It smells amazing and not overpowering, with notes of tuberose,” Unno explains. “It is made with aloe vera, panthenol, camelia oil, and castor oil, all of which are great for hair.”
Vibrant notes of citrus and rose that characterize the classic Coco Mademoiselle fragrance come together once again the luxury brand’s hair mist adaptation. “It’s a nice little touch of luxury to your day,” one Sephora buyer writes. “I don’t feel like it weighs my hair down, and it lasts a good amount of time.” It’s a refined and sophisticated hair fragrance, with a bottle to match.
Fragrance notes: Orange, patchouli, turkish rose | Key Ingredients: Castor oil | Size: 1.0 fl. Oz.
This sunny scent is both bold and bright with warm, spicy, and sweet notes throughout. It is also light and airy, making it an easily layerable fragrance that agrees with other scents instead of competing. “I absolutely love this scent,” one Sephora reviewer writes. “It's summer in a bottle.”