When is a perfume not a perfume? When it comes to a hairspray so carefully perfumed that a cloud of hairspray could legitimately pass for a refined perfume.
Scented hair care is on the rise. Its pioneer was undoubtedly the late and great hairdresser Oribe Canales. Canales (known simply as Oribe, pronounced “OR-bay”) was, in 2008, the first to hire a pair of high-end perfumers to create a luxury fragrance for use in hair products.
The result was Côte d’Azur, a blend of apples, bergamot, sandalwood, amber, tuberose, jasmine and vetiver that is widely adored by the beauty community. It smells so good – and costs so much – that although it’s now also available as a perfume (£121 for 75ml), a friend of mine happily says her signature scent is Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray.
Similarly, fans of American hair care brand Ouai have been so enamored with the scents of its products that the firm has bottled them as a perfume. And dpHue’s signature shampoos and conditioners smell so good, a matching home scented candle is on the way. I myself have been known to use Sam McKnight hairsprays not only for the hairstylist’s signature “cool girl” tousled texture, but also for a hit of the sublime fragrance created especially for McKnight by British perfumer Lyn Harris.
Inspired by the lingering aroma of McKnight’s beloved London garden after a heavy downpour, Harris’ creation is a blissful blend of wet herbs, roses and an almost scorching accord that’s both refined and sexy. A perfume PR – who has no professional connection with McKnight – tells me that Lazy Girl Dry Shampoo (at £19, it’s a fraction of the price of one of Harris’ fragrances) is her “special occasion fragrance”. Kate Moss is also a fan.
Famous hairstylist Adam Reed is also a fanatical perfume collector, keen on the psychological benefits of perfume. For its new Arkive range of “headcare” and styling products, Reed prioritized scent as much as performance. Arkive incorporates two stackable scents – Future Bloom, a white floral with warm vanilla and tart rhubarb; and, my favorite, No One Elsie (named after Reed’s beloved nan), a mouth-watering mix of green tomato leaves, plus rhubarb, honeysuckle and gooseberry. The latter appears in The new form (£13), a blow-dry spray that leaves my hair shiny, silky, bouncy and smelling like an 1980s hothouse I’m afraid to leave.