Looking back at old photos of our parents from the '80s and '90s, we almost feel kind of... sorry for them. Sure, they turned out some of the most impressively gravity-defying hairstyles the 20th century had ever seen, but man did they have to sacrifice to achieve those looks. Just the act of using hairspray was done as if spraying for ants, with a defensive hand held up to shield airborne particles from the eyes, a stance that would suddenly shift to frantic waving in an effort to disperse the cloud of noxious fumes that had been released.
Alcohol-heavy styling gels, mousses, and oils didn’t smell much better, and shampoos stunk like overly perfumed soap — talk about the opposite of a pampering self-care experience. Thankfully, a generation of offending products has been laid to rest, replaced by formulas that smell so nice, we wish they came in eau de parfum form, too.
Between Honest Beauty’s Sea Salt Spray, which founder Jessica Alba once noted was designed to "smell sensual, like vacation," (it succeeds) to shine sprays and pomades that remind us of our favorite things (Champagne, Jolly Ranchers, heady incense!), find the hair-care products that cause us to linger a little longer when getting ready — and smell the ends of our hair when we think no one’s looking — ahead.
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The following scenario inevitably happens at least once after we treat our ends with this lightweight styler: A friend will go in for a hug, then step back and ask what kind of perfume we're wearing. Our reply? Oh, just this hair serum, which is scented like a fresh floral bouquet that’s not too grassy or too sweet.
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Maybe it’s weird that we apply this balm to the tips of our hair for its incense-like fragrance alone. But we don’t care: The blend of clary sage, frankincense, patchouli, vetiver, rosemary, geranium, and tangerine smells divine. Plus, it works to smooth flyaways and nourish dry ends, no beard required.
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The original botanically-charged Shampure formula is so revered for its scent that it sparked an entire line of products, made with the same heady blend of 25 plant extracts. Spray this lavender- and ylang ylang-spiked dry conditioner into hair to help recharge curls and add a bit of olfactory serenity to otherwise hectic mornings.
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A good dry shampoo will make hair look clean. A great dry shampoo will make it smell clean, too. This version smells faintly of vanilla, tuberose, and palo santo.
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On paper, a maple-scented hair product seems iffy at best. After all, who wants to go around smelling like IHOP? But in practice, this leave-in conditioner smells more like a toasted almond brown-sugar latte with a shot of maple tapped straight from the tree. The warm, cozy scent is just begging to be made into a candle, but for now, we’ll get our fix with this frizz-fighting leave-in conditioner.
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We can’t help but apply way too much of this beach spray when styling: The bergamot, lemon, orange, and vanilla scent inside makes our hair smell exactly like summer nights in Hawaii.