How the History of Trending Hair Perfume Involves Century-Old Wigs and Open Kitchens

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The category of hair fragrance is growing—during the month of April, views for the term rose an astounding 35-percent, according to Spate—and shoppers are taking note. “Consumers are deciding to choose different fragrances to add to their personal perfume library, depending on the occasion,” says Sacha Mitic, co-founder of Sachajuan, who adds that a simple spray to the strands isn’t “so simple” and cannot be categorized as a perfume (he also, successfully, launched a hair perfume in May). “You have to look at hair perfumes more like a refresher,” Mitic stresses. “Hair refreshers, overall, are also becoming a trend, as consumers move away from washing their hair every day, so hair refreshers support their lifestyle.”

Where it came from

We’re going to turn this one over to Mitic to share the story: “The XVIIth century saw the world of hair evolve, with an increased use of wigs that were powdered or perfume to keep fresh,” he explains. “We developed our original Protective Hair Perfume after many consumers gave us lots of compliments on the signature fragrance we use in our hair products and asked us to create a perfume. Because we are hairdressers, it was important to create a perfume product relating to hair, so it was a very natural extension to develop a hair perfume that not only has a lovely fragrance, but also has performance when being used in the hair.”

What it means in the modern world

It sounds so simple (and a rather unexpected connection), but Mitic tags this one as compliments of the chef: “We’ve seen an increase of open kitchens in restaurants, and if you just recently washed and styled your hair, you’d be able to smell food embedded into porous hair after leaving the restaurant,” he says. “We developed our hair perfume so consumers could refresh their hair without having to wash it again.”

Why spraying regular perfume doesn’t quite do it

Also categorizing hair perfume as “a timeless tradition and a staple part of beauty routines from many different cultures,” Gisou founder Negin Mirsalehi says she used to use standard, spray-on perfumes regularly on her hair—until she began to realize they were drying and damaging her strands. Her solution: Creating an everyday hair perfume. “Our Honey Infused Hair Perfume is enriched with Mirsalehi Honey from my family bee garden. It’s rich in vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants that deeply nourish, moisturize and repair the hair. I love it because it not only adds moisture, but it’s paraben free and contains a UV shield, so I can use it to refresh and scent my strands while also hydrating and protecting my hair.”

How to use it

“Having hair stylists and consumers regarding the product as a finishing product, when really there are so many added benefits to the product including anti-odor technology and UV protection,” Mitic says. “You spray it evenly on to dry hair, to capture odor molecules, while adding shine and protection.” Mirsalehi adds this move that she recommends for her Gisou option: “I usually have at least one of them in my purse and reapply it throughout the day. For best results, I recommend spraying it evenly from an arm’s length throughout dry hair, then flip or shake your hair to activate the scent.”

Ones to Try:

1 / 7

Gisou Honey Infused Hair Perfume ($83)

Inspired by the smell of honey in her father’s bee garden, Mirsalehi’s very personal floral edition embodies childhood memories of “harvesting delicious black berries and flowers in the garden” as her father worked. “We worked tirelessly to perfect both fragrances while ensuring they also provided hair with the best in nourishment, protection and hydration. Normal perfumes contain alcohol—which is so drying for hair—so I was really determined to make sure our fragrance was very moisturizing.”

2 / 7

Sachajuan Protective Hair Perfume ($89)

This multibeneficial protector—yes, that counts those sinister UV rays, too—reviver and shine-inducer credits its rich scent to a decadent top-note mix of white honey, cardamom, and ciste oil, which meet a base of vanilla, tonka beans, sandalwood, and patchouli.

3 / 7

Moroccanoil Hair & Body Fragrance Mist (starting at $18)

Spicy and sweet, this trusted mist (it comes in more than one size) is made up of a magical formula of argan oil and vitamin E that somehow sprays on so lightly, it never messes up your style.

4 / 7

Crown Affair The Signature Scent ($85)

This “actively hydrating” gentle hair perfume is fresh and sparkling, yet never overpowering. 

5 / 7

Yara Luxe Signature Hair Perfume ($35)

Infused with notes of sandalwood, patchouli, pineapple, and black vanilla, this pocket-sized, purse-friendly hair nourisher claims to promote hair growth as it gives off a luxurious aroma. 

6 / 7

Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Crush Cheirosa ’71 Hair & Body Fragrance Mist ($24)

It’s really hard the pinpoint the “best” from this very full portfolio of hair mists, but we like this summer-forward option for a sweet, yet sophisticated, way to serve up some good scents all-over the body. 

7 / 7

Balmain Hair Couture Hair Perfume ($163)

This best-seller boasts good-for-your-hair ingredients like argan elixir and silk protein, paired with complex scents of star anise, tarragon, pinewood, peach blossom, raspberry, gardenia, orange blossom, cloves, jasmine, rose, ylang-ylang, apricot, lilac amber, vanilla, sandalwood, cedar wood, balsamic and white musk. 

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