Photo Courtesy of Craving Yellow
Have you ever bought a hair product just because it smells good? I sure have! For some reason, the fragrance of a product is somehow related to how well I think it’s going to perform on my hair. Sweet, fruity scents leave my hair feeling like I just stepped out of tropical paradise with woody and balsamic scents such as vanilla and sandalwood. The fragrance and packaging of a hair product work hand in hand as important marketing tools for best-selling hair care products. In this regard, these are three factors that brands take into consideration when selecting fragrances. 

First impressions count

Brands are well aware that they only have a couple of seconds to capture your attention. If you only have a couple of minutes to select and buy a new hair product, you are most likely to use scent as a differentiating and deciding factor. To this end, hair companies tailor their first impressions around the top note of their products. According to Antonio Centano, founder of Real Men Real Style, “the top note is the initial, lighter smell of the fragrance that hits the nose immediately after application.” Typical top notes are light floral, citrus, fruity, aquatic, or spicy scents that last from 15 min. to 2 hrs. Top notes communicate a feel good experience that resonates with many consumers, making them more likely to purchase one product over another.

Scents add sophistication 

According to New York Times Fashion & Style Writer, Bee Shapiro, some beauty companies today are taking that idea that scents add sophistication to new extremes. According to Shapiro, there’s been an increase in the number of corporate clients for sophisticated hair care scents, and believe it or not, woodsy musk and spiced up vanillas are trumping fruity-fragranced lathers. High-end salon brands are moving away from the single top note fragrances, such as those in popular retail brand Herbal Essences, and replacing these with multi-layered fragrances. Aside from their actual formulations, luxury hair care lines are differentiating themselves from mass produced, retail lines simply by crafting complex scents and pricing them dearly.

Fragrances and brand identity

Have you ever wondered why companies like Carol’s Daughter continue to distinguish themselves from new and upcoming hair care lines? Well, it might boil down to their consistency in developing soft, tropical fragrances. In other words, fragrances can carry the identity of a product. In a single waft, they are able to heighten the perception of a product’s functionality by imparting a powerful subliminal message that they are of high quality. Brands are aware that while the simple function of washing hair is a common beauty regimen, it’s also a sensory experience, so they tailor their fragrances to communicate a superiority and distinction.

Have you bought hair products simply because they smell good? If so, what products most appealed to you and which didn’t?