Anyone who knows me will know I'm something of a perfume hoarder. My 40-strong collection is continuously growing, but I'm no loyalist. While many have their signature scent down, I like to flirt with my fragrance depending on when the mood strikes. From musky skin-scents that whisper a quiet kind of luxury, to summer fragrances that smell like expensive suncream and transport me on holiday, I like to mix it up. And I can't not mention woody notes (one of my new favourite perfumes is inspired by paper) and those salty, windswept scents that take you to the beach. I live near the seaside, so I'm a true coastal grandmother at heart.
But, there are a few qualms I have with fragrance—especially when it comes to this expensive perfumes that cost upwards of £100. Firstly, fragrance just doesn't last as long as I want it to. Of course, lighter eau de toilettes and delicate notes will naturally be more fleeting, but I find that I'm always looking for ways to make my perfume last longer. The cost is the second bug-bear I have, especially if the scent doesn't last as long. But, I've cracked the code to A) make my fragrance last longer, and B), save money while still getting to wear those same luxurious that I scents.
It turns out wearing your fragrance in your hair is a game-changer for scent longevity. Our lengths cling on to fragrance far more effectively than the skin does. It's a bit like when you catch your usual perfume clinging to the scarf you wear in the winter—your hair works in the same way. Simply spray directly onto your lengths or on to a hairbrush for a more subtle application. Plus, every time your hair moves, be it taking it out of a ponytail or it wafting in the wind, you—and everyone within your hair-swishing vicinity—will notice your scent. It's a guaranteed compliment hack.
Hair perfumes aren't anything new, and I've long sprayed my usual perfume in my hair—so why would we even need a hair perfume? The cynic in me used to believe that it was just another way for brands to sell more of their perfumes, but there is convincing evidence. Celine Roux, head of fragrance at Jo Malone London, says, "Hair mist is a totally different formula. The mist is very respectful to the hair. It's filled with nourishing and conditioning ingredients yet is very lightweight, leaving your hair with a slight sheen and a delicate scent." Plus, the alcohols found in standard eau de toilettes and eau de parfums can be damaging to your hair, and are best avoided if you're planning to use heat on your hair too.
Additionally, a hair perfume is just so much more long-lasting if you want your scent to be noticeable all day long. Jo Malone CBE, founder of Jo Loves says that hair mists can be versatile and even more long-wearing than your usual perfume. "Just like fragrance, hair mists are designed to deliciously scent your hair for all occasions. The lightweight formula allows the scent to linger all day without weighing down or damaging your hair. It also works on all hair types," she says.
With more and more hair perfumes versions of the most iconic scents landing on the beauty desk lately, I've rounded up the best scented hair mists to make your hair look and smell amazing. Keep scrolling to shop 15 of the best hair perfumes of the year so far.
The 15 Best Hair Perfumes
1. Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540 Hair Mist
Key notes: Saffron, jasmine, amber wood, ambergris, fir resin, cedarwood
Maison Francis Kurkdjian's Baccarat Rouge 540 has become one of the most adored fragrances for its amber and woody notes that smell so damn expensive. A 70ml bottle of the eau de parfum will set you back a cool £235, but the hair perfume is only a fraction at £75, making it an ideal way to get a slice of the scent without forking out a fortune.
2. By Kilian Love, Don't Be Shy Hair Mist
Key notes: Neroli, pink pepper, orange blossom, jasmine, musk, vanilla
Before Rihanna launched her own scent, it was well-know that her one of her favourite perfumes was Love, Don't Be Shy from By Kilian. In case you're wondering what Rihanna smelt like, it's molten marshmallow and musk with a heavy dose of florals. It's sweet and a head-turner, so not for those who like a subtle scent.
3. Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Hair Perfume
Key notes: Orange blossom, bergamot, Turkish rose, jasmine, ylang-ylang, patchouli, white musk, vetiver
This is among the chicest of the hair perfumes out there, and I'm so glad that one of Chanel's most iconic scents comes in a hair perfumer iteration. This is one for the floral girls who want to feel like they're just stepped out of an expensive hair salon. It's springtime in a bottle, and a classic scent that stands the test of time. Plus, how amazing is the bottle?
4. Byredo Mojave Ghost Hair Perfume
Key notes: Ambrette, nesberry, magnolia, sandalwood, violet, cedarwood, musks, vetiver
Byredo make some of the most lusted-after hair perfumes, and I can attest that both the Gypsy Water and Bibliotheque ones smell phenomenal. However, I've got my eye on Mojave Ghost next, which is a mysterious woody scent that will have everyone asking 'how does your hair smell so good?'
5. Diptyque Eau Rose Hair Mist
Key notes: Rose Damascena, rose centifolia, litchi, ambroxan
Not only does this nourishing mist deliver a full bouquet of rose fragrance to your hair (centifolia and Damascena rose, to be specific), but it really enriches your strands with hydration and shine so your hair will look soft and silky, too. Plus, if you're a Diptyque fan like I am, you'll feel a sense of joy from just how pretty this bottle will look in your bathroom. What's more, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley also loves this scent.
6. Serge Lutens Collection Noire La Fille De Berlin Hair Mist
Key notes: Rose, pepper, patchouli, moss
This hair perfume envelopes your lengths in a cloud of rich rose petals. But don't take it as a pretty rose floral—it's got a thorny attitude. Aromatic pepper and sweet honey pave the way for an earthy patchouli and moss base—it's a floral with a delightfully moody twist.
7. Frederic Malle Portrait of a Lady Hair Mist
Key notes: Rose, cinnamon, clove, raspberry, patchouli, incense, sandalwood, musk, amber benzoin
Fragrance aficionados are obsessed with this heady scent. As you can tell from the notes, it's a statement scent that is bound to get your noticed. But, if you want a subtler version, the hair perfume is the way to go.
8. Ruka Hair Perfume
Key notes: Coconut, musk, vanilla
If creamy musk scents are more your bag, then Ruka's hair perfume is a must try. Mongongo oil and aloe vera are particularly beneficial for curls, helping to hydrate the hair while leaving your hair delicately scented with coconut, musk and vanilla.
9. Jo Loves A Fragrance Hair Mist in Fig
Key notes: Fig, rose, amber
This sweet yet fresh scent reminds me of picnics on sunny days. It disperses a wonderfully lightweight mist that contains softening ingredients for healthy hair. "When your hair is dry or feeling a bit lacklustre, hold the mist 15 to 20 centimetres from your head and lightly mist your locks for shine and a burst of scent," says Malone.
10. Ex Nhilo Fascinate Sublime Hair Mist
Key notes: Pink pepper, green leaves, jasmine sambac, white cedarwood, musks, vanilla
If you want your hair to smell like the most luxurious of florists, then this fresh hair mist is bound to please. The brightness of pink pepper and fresh snap of green leaves in combination with the florals and musks make this scent so beautiful. You won't be able to stop smelling your hair.
12. Balmain Hair Perfume
Key notes: Pine, raspberry, orange blossom, jasmine, rose, ylang-ylang, vanilla, sandalwood, cedarwood
This hair fragrance from Balmain is seriously chic. If you like your hair to smell just as good as when you walk out of the salon, then you'll enjoy the floral notes of orange blossom, jasmine, sandalwood and cedar, which make this smell very expensive indeed.
13. Sachajuan Protective Hair Perfume
Key notes: Green apple, peach, rose, cedarwood, musk
To me, this is a clean, fresh, masculine scent—not a fragrance that I'd usually go for on my body, but on my hair, it just works. A blend of green apple, cedarwood, rose and musk, it does a great job of refreshing second-day (and third-day) hair when your strands might need a little bit of a pick-me-up. In fact, this and a dry shampoo are my current "in-between washes" dream team. It also contains silk amino acids and olive oil to protect your hair from damage throughout the day.
14. Jo Malone London English Pear & Freesia Hair Mist
Key notes: Pear, freesia, patchouli
English Pear & Freesia is Jo Malone's best-selling scent, and you can bet that this hair fragrance version smells just as good. To me, it's the ultimate fresh-hair fragrance. It's also enriched with argan kernel oil and vitamin B5 to nourish lengths as your spritz.
15. Parfums de Marly Delina Hair Mist
Key notes: Cashmeran, lily of the valley, cedarwood, incense, Turkish rose, peony, petalia, vanilla, musk
If you want your hair to smell like an expensive bouquet of flowers, then you'll want to mist this through your hair. Not only does it have impressive lasting power, but the notes of lily of the valley and peony waft with every swish of your hair.
16. Gisou Honey Infused Hair Perfume
Key notes: Honey, wildflowers
Gisou's cult line of haircare also includes a fragrance, and we can attest that it smells delicious. This floral, honey-infused fragrance transports you to the most luscious of gardens, while the antioxidants and amino acids to fortify and nourish your lengths.
Eleanor Vousden is the beauty editor of Who What Wear UK. She was previously deputy editor at Hairdressers Journal, health writer at Woman & Home and junior beauty editor at beauty website Powder. She has also contributed to Wallpaper and Elle Collections with written and styling work.
Working as a beauty journalist since 2015 after graduating in fashion journalism at the London College of Fashion, she has been highly commended at the BSME Talent Awards and also contributed to Powder, winning Website of the Year at the PPA Awards for her work in beauty journalism.
Eleanor’s journalistic focus is to provide readers with honest and helpful beauty content. Through words, video and live broadcast, she has interviewed several celebrity makeup artists, hairstylists and top dermatologists throughout her career. She has a particular interest in finding solutions for acne and eczema, which she has experienced firsthand. She has also amassed a large collection of fragrances and can never say no to a new candle.
When she’s not writing or testing the latest beauty product or treatments, she’s on the seafront in her hometown of Brighton and Hove, where she lives with her partner.