Share: must your beauty products smell good?

It’s so wonderful that this is a short work week isn’t it? I’ve been looking forward to this week since Sunday. Heh. Anyway, I’ve been busy recently on a project, which is beauty related. Whilst working on this project, I noticed that smell greatly affects my opinion of a product. And come to think of it now, it’s actually one of the deciding factors for me when it comes to purchasing a product.

Because I use more natural and organic products, so I’m incline towards herbal and natural botanical smell. In fact, I’ve become quite adversed to anything that smells too fragrant as it spells “artificial” to me. Just the other day, I was disappointed that a new powder I bought smell too sweet. There was no tester and so I hadn’t realized about the smell until I started using it. It’s a Korean product and I noticed that most Korean products seem to smell quite similar with an artificial fragrance. And have you noticed the smell of most chemical sunscreens? I always associate the scent with chlorine!

While I don’t like sharp scent, but I also don’t deliberately choose products that are unscented either. I don’t mind them of course if their ingredients are agreeable but somehow, I associate them with being clinical. Maybe it’s because I like my senses to be invigorated whenever I apply something on my skin.

So what about you? Is scent an important factor when it comes to purchasing your skin care and makeup products? What’s your favorite type of scent? I like rose and geranium most and I also like citrus smell in my shower gels. Pomegranate is nice too!


  1. aichaku says:

    Smells definitely affect me. It’s one of my migraine triggers. I’m also inclined to prefer natural/herbal smells. Coincidentally, I just reviewed a bunch of shower foams that I tried (most of the “horror” stories were a result of “smelly” scents).

  2. Soos says:

    It’s a turnoff if something I’m going to put on my face – like powder – is heavily fragranced. If something smells vile – too strong or just bad, like some hair products – I can’t use them. Here’s one that folks other than me have said is repulsive: Ojon Restorative Hair Treatment. Ugh!

  3. Angel says:

    I actually prefer for my skincare products to have a natural scent. I am not very effected by scent for too long luckily, as some natural products can be a little funky ? (such as witch hazel, totally smells like bacon to me.) But is at all possible, I will use unscented products.

    I actually wish more products didn’t have added fragrance, as it just is another thing to irritate my skin. :/

    If I do feel like I want to smell good, I do like to spray perfume on my clothes, (not directly to my skin).

  4. gonzo says:

    As much as I don’t want to admit it the smell of a product is important to me. I’ve used products that were really effective but the bad smell just makes me so reluctant to use them regularly. Yes I agree that the chemical sunscreen smells like chlorine. The smell is especially stronp when I’m outdoors n the weather is hot and humid.

  5. Liesl says:

    As long as the scent doesn’t smell artificial. I prefer natural products too. I love rose, lavender, eucalyptus etc. Artificial scent and many perfumes give me migraine. Being used to natural products these days, my main deciding factor is how natural is the product and the quality. Second is scent.

  6. Happy Feet says:

    I can’t stand products that are heavily fragranced, smells too chemical to me. I wouldn’t use it even if it’s the best-seller, that’s one thing for sure.

  7. babybunii says:

    i m quite particular with de smell of products i use from head-to-toe..
    i use b4 a 100% natural blemish gel tat smell super awful.bcos dey don add “frangance”and whenever i apply it, my family will start sayin tat it sinks.. haha..
    i remember last time whn i was working, i applyed it n my colleagues & boss experience de awful smell in the room,
    asking wher is it from..
    but i kept quiet, pretending not to know.. =x
    they also suspect its from me.. haha

    to me, as long as de product is 100% natural & effective, i don really mind bout de smell.

    commercialize products usually have strong parfum smell wich i will not consider buyin if its on 1st few of the ingredient list..
    but for face care, artifical fragrance is a big no-no for me,
    since i hav sensitive skin &
    its near to my sense of smell..

  8. Jol says:

    Yes! Scent is a important factor when i purchase skincare products and i agree – most korean products seem to be too heavily fraganced. I prefer products to be either not scented or just a light one ?

  9. Reese says:

    After using mostly natural products for some time, I detest artificial scent, even perfume, so if the product comes with too much fragrance, its a no no for me. Love citrus smell too, seems to perk me up especially after a tired day.

  10. sesame says:

    Oh it triggers your migraine? I didn’t know the extent of smell on health. Sounds quite serious…

  11. sesame says:

    Yup, agree. I was quite upset with the smell of the new powder…too sweet. Maybe I won’t use it so often.

  12. sesame says:

    Haha…witch hazel smells like bacon? That’s a cute comparison. I can’t stand fragrance…it also turns me off.

  13. sesame says:

    I understand what you mean. Some natural products smells like smelly fish and it’s such a turnoff to use them.

  14. sesame says:

    You also get migraine? I don’t like perfumes too. Too artificial to me as well.

  15. sesame says:

    Same here…the smell somehow irritates my nose. So no best sellers for me as well if the smell is artificial.

  16. sesame says:

    Funny I find that blemish balm comes with a strong fragrance. It’s not bad but very sweet. But the one you use sounds really strong.

    I once was using some natural products that smell really awful and my family members avoided me whenever I applied that. ?

  17. sesame says:

    Kind of funny too that some of them says they are natural. Perhaps they also use the same fragrance cos they smell about the same. Maybe Koreans like the smell.

  18. sesame says:

    Citrus smell is very uplifting! I used to love them a lot but not so much for skin care cos I realized that citrus can be photosensitive. So only shower gels for me.

  19. amber_ says:

    I think i love my cosmetic to smell good or have some sort of fragrance. Many people that i know dislike the smell of Skinfood Aloe BB Cream as it has quite a heavy fragrance. But I’m on the contrary love it soooo much. Another reason to like fragrance is if there’s any bad odour, I won’t be able to smell it coz I’m smelling my own cosmetic instead. Believe me, my cosmetic have saved me loads of time from the B.O from others especially in the train during rush hour.

  20. Rinka says:

    i definitely prefer my cosmetics to have a good smell, or at least a tolerable one. i recently bought the l’oreal derma genesis pore minimizing moisturiser and it smelt really bad! the smell does fade once it sinks into your skin but i do like a nice fresh fragrance.

  21. Audris says:

    Fragrances are so subjective, like perfumes. I guess manufacturers are in a bind to select the most appropriate scent that’ll appeal to the broadest spectrum of possible consumers, yet still differentiates itself from the rest of similar products on market. While personally I’d like scent-free skincare items, I guess most potential users might just pass over the item, as not everyone scrutinises ingredients afore packaging/ scent, etc. I guess having a scent also helps to arrest olfactory attention and hopefully lead to product interest and purchase. Like how The Body Shop back in the UK in the beginning used to have scents burning at the doorstep of the humble shop located next to a funeral parlour to draw in the passer-bys… who probably wouldn’t except a skin and body care shop next to erh… something associated with morgue and corpse ?

    C’est la vie & Happy Deepavali ?

  22. sesame says:

    Hahaha…I like that…your cosmetics have saved you from BO from others! That’s truly classic!

  23. AtelierGal says:

    Fragrance has always been my secondary concern. Given the recent breakout episode due to the imbalance of the fragrance concoctions, this concern has taken a nosedive. I am more keen in the results,

  24. sesame says:

    If it disappears, it’s still acceptable. What I’m most afraid are those that lingers on…

  25. sesame says:

    You’re absolutely right that scent is one of the main way to attract buyers. I remember Eric Chew of Bud Cosmetics mentioned that too and that’s why his sales at his stores are better cos pple still like to touch and smell.

    Happy Deepavali to you!

  26. sesame says:

    Okay, I can understand where you’re coming from. If I had a problem due to fragrance, I would avoid them at all cost. I hope your skin is better now.

  27. pf1123 says:

    I hardly notice scents to my skin care. I think mine largely are nice smelling or lightly scented or unscented that I was not bothered.

  28. AtelierGal says:

    I was referring to skincare and makeup products. But when it comes to shampoo(have yet to find anything that smells good), perfume and body lotions etc, I splurge on Satasuma ? Pity the scent has evaporated from TBS body butter, I’ve only used half of it!

    Thanks for asking, my skin is better now but the zit on my cheek is still lingering for Christmas. I’m at my wit’s end here – the bump refused to flatten. HOW?

    Enjoy the long weekend

  29. Rennie says:

    I’m not too particular about scent unless it comes to the scent of roses….I always feel faint when I smell them. Other than that, scent doesn’t really affect me as much.

  30. violet says:

    Scent definitely is the most important factor in purchasing any product. I’m not a scent person and I never like wearing a perfume. I guess I’m just very sensitive to smell and I don’t like them sticking on to me ( must be a psychological thing). I get tired of the same scent If I wear them for a long time and I get annoyed with it. I got Garnier moisturizer once and it was scented. I liked the moisturizing effect and the smell didn’t bother me the first few weeks. After that I simply can not stand the scent and decided to stop using it eventhough I liked the effect it was giving me. So now , I make sure I buy cosmetics and creams that is unscented .

  31. sesame says:

    Probably mild smell and soothing scents. I remember one of your masks comes with lavender so that’s very pleasant smell.

  32. sesame says:

    If it doesn’t have a head, I usually apply emu oil or tea tree oil and it’ll subside in time…slow though. If it has a head, I’ll squeeze a little and then apply Nexcare. Need to exfoliate the spot more frequently. You got Apple Cider Vinegar? Try applying to the spot. Or use Evening Primrose Oil.

  33. sesame says:

    Haha…I suppose we can say one woman’s “smell” is another woman’s poison.

  34. sesame says:

    I know what you mean. Sometimes, the scent is just too much and even though the product works, you get turned off from using it often enough. I wonder if cosmetic companies do a sort of study on the preferred scent by consumers. Probably some do…

  35. Natalja says:

    Scent is something that immediately triggers a response “like it” or “don’t like it”. Unfortunately artificial fragrances contain in themselves a lot of chemicals and have no benefit for the skin whatsoever. So in my company we try to create high end scents mixing essential oils that also have benefits for your skin. Not an easy task, let me tell you. Especially if you try to make different ones for different products and not use the same one for all. But it’s definitely fun. We use Rose, Sandalwood, Jasmine, lots of citrus ones, Vanilla and others. From the consumer point of view, when I go to a department store I just can’t help it, I smell every single product I test. I guess it’s an automatic reflex.

  36. sesame says:

    Hey Natalja: Thanks for sharing your perspective from a manufacturer’s standpoint. I like the smell of essential oils – they come across as more high end like what you’ve mentioned. ?

    I didn’t like sandalwood in the past but after using products with the scent, I think it’s a good scent. Very soothing and calming.

  37. pf1123 says:

    Actually I don’t like the lavender smell. Not soothing for me. But it goes away after I put it on. So its alright.

    I like to smell of my Talika Balancing lotion. ? Its a treat to use every morning!

  38. Michelle C. says:

    Smell is definitely something I consider before buying a product. I don’t like overpowering smells as it triggers my migrains (same as aichaku), this is specially the case with most lavender scented products. My favorite smell is citrus and coconuts, but I like flowery smells as well and vanilla too. Although I have to be careful with vanilla because it gives me migraines too.

  39. Natalja says:

    Yes, Sandalwood on it’s own doesn’t smell all that good. Actually it barely smells all together. But when it’s mixed with Rose or Jasmine, together they create quite high end soft luxury scent. Kind of velvety…. It’s very good in a blend, but on it’s own, not a big deal, but so expensive… Our new eye cream smells like that (Rose + Sandalwood), I can’t stop smelling it ?

  40. sesame says:

    Lavender gives you migraine? I’m not a big lover of the smell but I always thought it’s quite soothing. Vanilla is a bit sweet for my liking. I associate it with ice cream. Haha…

  41. N. says:

    I prefer products that don’t smell because they usually give me headaches if it is too strong or sweet. Although I definitely understand, buying a product that is said natural but has a scent that yells chemicals. It’s a bit annoying.
    I still remember a makeup product I bought that had this really weird uhm fishy smell to it. One of the sellers said it didn’t have a smell while the other said the smell would go away eventually. The smell didn’t go away after 6 hours and I had to return the product. Situations like these are extremely frustrating.

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