Does Scent In Beauty Products Affect Your Buying/Using Decisions?

Scent in Beauty Products

I wrote about a body lotion that smells practically of nothing yesterday and today I thought I’d explore our preference of scents in beauty products further. I’m not just talking about added fragrance in skincare, makeup, body care and haircare; it’s more of the overall scent in them in particular. As you’re aware, even fragrance-free beauty products have some sort of scent in them. Give them a whiff and you’ll know what I mean.

When a beauty product has expired, oxidised or simply has gone off, its scent often tells us it’s time to chuck said product into the bin. But what if the product is still working properly but you’re just not in love with the scent anymore? What if it starts to repel you?

Would you still keep using it? Or would you bin it as well?

My skin is typically quite resistant to fragrance in beauty products. It doesn’t normally flare up or is in any way affected simply because there’s fragrance in the skincare, makeup, etc that I use. When I detect fragrance in the list of ingredients, it doesn’t put me off trying the product out unless the scent is awful to begin with. Thankfully, my skin isn’t sensitive that way.

On the other hand, I find myself very particular about the scent in beauty products as I grow older. If there’s something about the scent that just isn’t right to me, I won’t use it. I won’t buy it. It’s funny because I never used to be that way. Overly-perfumed products that were all right before are now cloying in my books. I can’t put my finger on the type of scent I like or don’t like. The nose knows what it likes and doesn’t like.

I’ve returned, chucked and given away beauty products which scents just didn’t work for me. I wanted to try Sunday Riley’s LUNA so badly but the scent to me was so revolting that I had to return the product 48 hours later. I chucked the Indeed Labs Pepta Bright because I couldn’t stand the way it smells. I had to stop using the IT Cosmetics CC cream because it smelled like vomit to me.

Mind you, there’s nothing wrong about those products. Chances are you may not even find any of these products smelly. I bought them from the rave reviews I’ve read and I’m sure I would have loved them if the scent would agree with my nose. I really liked the IT Cosmetics CC Cream but the scent became unbearable with each use.

It’s really strange how I managed to get past the “toilet cleaner” smell of Sunday Riley’s Good Genes because it ended up being one of the best serums I’ve used. The scent must have somehow managed to desensitise my nose because the tart scent doesn’t bother me anymore.

What can I say? The schnoz knows what it wants and what it doesn’t want. 😛

What about you? Is the scent of beauty products important to you when you’re making a buying decision? If it starts to bother you when you’re using it, will you still continue to use it?

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17 comments… add one
  1. Yip

    I feel the same way! I’ve given away so many body lotions and body butters just because I don’t like the scent! I just feel like there isn’t really a point in keeping it around and it’s difficult to use when you hate the scent
    Yip recently posted..Review: Bourjois Delice de Poudre Duo (Bronzing powder + Highlighter)My Profile

    1. Tine

      I know right? There are scents that I’ve fallen out of love with (didn’t know why I loved them before) that I had to chuck because like you said, there wasn’t any point in keeping them around because I wouldn’t use them anyway.

  2. Asha

    Ironically while my skin is sensitive to pretty much everything else fragrance isn’t one of those things! But yes, if there’s certain scents the schnoz can’t take, I can’t use it at all, gives me a nauseous sort of headache-y feeling (if that even makes sense!) The pepta-bright scent, while unpleasant, didn’t affect me that way. In my case I find its extremely sweet floral scents or ‘powdery’ scents that put me off but I agree, I think our sense of smell changes as we age, or at least our preferences do. I remember quite distinctly dousing myself in some extremely strong candy-sweet scents as a teen that I can’t stand now! And I’ve also noticed that a lotta products and fragrances marketed to older women tend to be gaggingly powdery!

    1. Tine

      That’s good that the Pepta-Bright didn’t turn you off. Boy, it was terrible for me.
      Oh I know! Why are fragrances marketed towards older women so powdery? Was there a survey that said that older women like powdery scents? I know a lot of older women who can’t stand powdery scents.
      Hahaha me too! Back in the day, I’d be happy with sickeningly-sweet candy scents. Now I can’t stand them at all. 😛

  3. Kayla

    I love when lipsticks smell nice! I use a lot of liquid lipsticks and most of them smell like chocolate! I love it!
    Kayla recently posted..2016 GOALSMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Ooooh what’s this chocolate-smelling liquid lipsticks you’re talking about??

      1. BebeTaian

        Shiro Cosmetics makes one, and she has this custom thingy where she can match a colour or you can pick a lip-safe eyeshadow to have a lipgloss made of. I have a grape-flavoured one right now with tonnes of super-fine glitter in it, since Maybelline discontinued an ultra-sparkly Diamonds lipgloss here.
        BebeTaian recently posted..Wicca Pagan Candles – 10 Assorted Chime Candles – Altar Spell Candles by BebeTaianMy Profile

  4. Kat Ness

    I don’t think I notice much fragrance in products so I don’t think it affects me too much unless I haven’t come across anything too atrocious yet. I did find Lush Snow Fairy a bit too sickly sweet, almost headachy when I used it though.
    Kat Ness recently posted..15 Loved Products in 2015My Profile

    1. Tine

      Funny thing about LUSH – individually, I think they smell all right but when the scents mesh together in stores, the whole store is simply overwhelming!

  5. BebeTaian

    I’ve had the whole spectrum. “Scent-free” products that smell terrible. Products that probably don’t need to be scented (like lip gloss or face powders) being overwhelmingly powerful and headache-inducing. Products that actually smell fantastic, like hyssop/orange lotion I bought, that was beautiful! … until it started to be a migraine trigger. ugh! I can take a little bit, but anything heavily scented will inevitably leave me nauseous and in pain. Best to just give it away or toss it out. If I know the scent is heavy or unpleasant before I buy it, I will leave it on the shelf, no matter how good it’s supposed to be.
    BebeTaian recently posted..VINTAGE Japanese WW2 Era Kimono – Blue Silk Irotomesode 1930s Kimono Showa Era by BebeTaianMy Profile

    1. Tine

      OH BINGO! I can’t tell you how many fragrance-free products’ scents I cannot stand. They’re terrible! Please add fragrance, gosh they stink! 😛

      Oh yeah I know what you mean by scents being migraine-triggers, especially the ones you love. I’ve had that many times too, and it’s a bummer because I like the scent but when it’s a tad too much, it makes me want to vomit. 🙁

  6. Tracy

    Scent in beauty products used to be ok for me as long as it’s not over-powering (Clarins products are really very scented!). However, with age, my nose seems to be getting sensitive to all these scents (body lotion and hand cream included). Strong scents give me a headache some times. These days, I try to get fragrance-free products whenever possible (Clinique can be depended on in this aspect). Which also means, many products are off-limits to me now 🙁

    1. Tine

      Aww that stinks 🙁 But yeah I know what you mean. There are number of skincare products and makeup I can’t use either simply because of the scent. Must be something to do with age; my nose just wouldn’t take it!

  7. Kate

    Scents matter a lot to me when it comes to purchasing products, I always steer clear of products that come with overpowering artificial scents or musky scents. Products that I use usually come with light scents that doesn’t bother me the entire day, so you can guess I’m not a avid user of perfumes.

    1. Tine

      Oh I agree; the scent has to agree with you all day. I’ve had ones that I thought were fine at first but by mid-day, I just want to take a shower and get rid of it because the scent’s somehow gotten too strong.

  8. Catherine

    I discovered Eluscent’s anti-ageing serum- when squeezed out it smelled like sharp chlorine. However it has lessened lines so I see it as ‘medicinal’- anything that is good for you is more likely to smell/taste terrible

    1. Tine

      Oh yuck. Chlorine >.< Not necessarily; I've had good skincare products that smell lovely. But I suppose you're right too because now that I think about it, a number of the really really good ones I've tried or am using smell quite bad. Oh dear.

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