When Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren sniffed Morello’s pin curls during an extended embrace in Orange Is the New Black’s second season, we knew she was harbouring a secret crush on her prison mate. Ditto for Ross when Phoebe busted him inhaling Rachel’s shag back in the day. “It smells all…coconutty,” was his defence. Scented strands are sexy, which is why, just in time for Valentine’s Day, Vidal Sassoon is re-releasing its cult-classic cherry-almond scent—originally launched in 1971—in its new Pro Series Cherry Almond Shampoo and Conditioner, $8 each, after fans begged for its revival. That hair-care companies are focusing on yummy, turn-me-on scents isn’t new (who can forget those embarrassing Herbal Essences commercials that always came on when your parents were in the room?). But now, they’re creating fragrances refined enough to justify their own bottles.
The main mission of Fekkai’s new trio of mists is to scent your hair rather than style it. Crème Vanillée stars that no-fail man magnet, vanilla; Rose Fraîche highlights a more chi-chi floral note; and Citron et Menthe features a citrusy mint accord that energizes a sleepy head. These $28 boosters are designed for layering atop your favourite hair products in the same range, to multiply and extend the waft emitted from a flirty hair flick for a good few hours—while adding a subtle kick of shine to boot.
No doubt the success behind Oribe’s luxurious, eponymous hair-care line is its “wearable” balmy underlying scent. (It’s so well loved in FLARE HQ that many of us find ourselves dry-shampooing even when our strands don’t require it.) Widely considered to be the first hair-care essence developed by an actual fragrance house, that zest became so cultishly adored, Oribe released two stand-alone scents, at $93 each, last fall, their sole function to make you smell pretty rather than look the part. Côte d’Azur, with its warm notes of Calabrian bergamot, jasmine and sandalwood, is the purest form of the signature aroma behind the entire range. Silver Pearl, with notes of leather, bamboo and green fig, is its crisper, edgier sister. The alcohol used in these bona fide eaux de parfum is said to be safe for spraying onto your hair as well as your neck.
Show’s Decadence Hair Fragrance, housed in a Baccarat-style vessel (for a whopping $105), also fights for vanity rights. Touching down from the U.K. this month, it’s one piece of a posh line of volumizing treatments and styling products (shampoos and conditioners are supposedly in the works) enjoyed by British Vogue-er Jourdan Dunn. For the brand’s founder, Tamara Ecclestone (the model-socialite daughter of Formula One Group chief executive Bernie Ecclestone), perfumes prior to her hair mist were headache inducing. The blend of rosewater, coconut milk, Madagascan vanilla and patchouli was the first fine hair fragrance designed by perfume house Givaudan (the noses behind Opium by YSL, Angel by Thierry Mugler and more recently, Lola by Marc Jacobs).
Like the gentle waft of crème brûlée, its tang is more subdued than perfume’s, yet stronger than the trace you get from the range’s dry shampoo alone. “When you walk past someone, you get a hint of a fragrance,” says Ecclestone, “as opposed to a full-on ‘Oh, this is what you’re wearing.’” This is partly because the perfume never comes into contact with the acidity of your skin, which for some can sour a scent. Lower alcohol content means it’s less pungent, while an added dose of aloe vera and vitamin E helps fight colour-sapping free radicals and jojoba oil promotes soft sheen. Because what good is a luscious smell without a luscious touch?
Q: Why can’t I just my favourite perfume into my hair?
A: Spritzing straight-up perfume into your mop to disguise a hair hangover was once considered a good idea. “When you go out at night and the smoke stays in your hair, well, why not?” poses clothing and fragrance designer Anna Sui, who’s been using the trick since her CBGB days. But traditional formulas with a high alcohol content can result in fading (on coloured and natural hair) and dryness. Today, specialized versions such as Chanel’s new Chance Hair Mist contain less alcohol, as well as softening polymers that coat the hair shaft to form a protective layer, so your glossy mane stays intact. Bonus: we love that the palm-sized round bottle fits snugly into a cross-body chain bag.