I hate the smell of fake coconut. Plasticky, sharp to the nose, and sickeningly sweet in a way that does not occur in nature, it makes me think of cheap piña coladas and the sticky bottle of Malibu rum I hid in the way back of my parents’ liquor cabinet for all of eighth grade. It does not conjure fantasies of a faraway beach where sun-scorched islanders and tourists alike doze in the white sand beneath the palm trees and monkeys swing from branch to branch in the background, making that noise that monkeys make, only very quietly.
And yet, for reasons I can’t explain, brands continue to ruin their otherwise very good beauty products (body lotions, shampoos, lip balms) with the same artificial note. My aversion to it has put me between a drupe and a hard place on more than one occasion, because I love me a good beachy wave — but that doesn’t mean I want my hair to smell like a tropical vacation as imagined by a person who’s never been on a tropical vacation, like so many of the best-loved sea salt sprays out there.
If your average sea salt spray is an all-inclusive resort in Hawaii, the Reverie Mare Mediterranean Sea Mist is the untouched coves on the coastline of Sardinia. Infused with vanilla, bergamot, lemon, sandalwood, and almond, it doesn’t smell anything like the kind of creamy cocktail you’d drink four of before falling asleep on the beach and waking up three hours later burnt to a crisp and with the worst sugar-induced headache of your life.
A few generous spritzes after towel-drying, followed by a good scrunching and the two hours it takes my hair to fully air-dry, makes my fine, wavy-ish hair shiny and just the right amount of tousled, not frizzy. It makes it feel like there’s more of it and it’s somehow healthier than before.
And unlike Bacardi 151, the (discontinued) gold standard for getting you as fucked up on piña coladas as possible, it's nearly impossible to overdo it: Even as someone who tends to use too much of everything, the spray hasn’t left my hair oily or weighed-down yet. I'll drink to that — just do me a solid and leave out the coconut, please.