Does Hair Colour Influence Fragrance?

Does hair colour influence fragrance?

One of the lesser-known aspects of perfumery is how big a role skin chemistry plays in how a fragrance smells on your skin. Fragrance houses and fashion designers rarely talk about how a fragrance interacts with our own unique skin chemistry. But it is important information for every perfume enthusiast to know. An eau de parfum can change dramatically over a 20-minute period as it dries down on skin. This ‘evolution’ can be caused by skin pH levels, diet and skin type. How many times have you heard a friend talk about how lemon and citrus notes can turn ‘sour’ on her skin. It is actually true. That can happen.

The good news is that fragrance manufacturers do testing on a range of test subjects before creating the final version of a perfume. They will test the formula on different age groups, ethnicities and skin tones to make sure the scent stays true to its composition. For this reason, most fragrances change subtly if all on skin. The formulas are composed to work on the widest range of consumers.

If you find you are someone that has fragrances change on your skin, you might want to consider your natural hair colour with shopping for fragrances. Hair colour and skin type are closely related. Many people with grey hair will have drier skin conditions with less natural oils present. Those with medium to deep skin tones can have a higher percentage of natural oils. And redheads often have fair complexions that react to UV rays quickly. Here are a few tips for scent selections based on natural hair colour.


If your hair has a natural red pigment to it, you may find your skin is more sensitive than most. For some reason, green notes like violet leaf, freshly cut grass, fig leaf, galbanum and mint can change slightly on redheads. Instead of green scents, look for airy florals with notes of peony, lily of the valley, jasmine and ylang-ylang.


Many women with naturally brown or black hair have higher levels of natural oils in their skin. These oils interact beautifully with spicy and gourmand notes such as vanilla, tonka bean, cinnamon, tarragon, caramel, and even coffee. These are warm and comforting ingredients and can really work well on brunettes.


Fresh citrus and bright florals often work beautifully on those with naturally blonde hair. The skin pH can be more balanced and interact well with fruit notes such as lemon, lime, mandarin, grapefruit, goji berry and bergamot. Blondes may want to explore the wide range of rose-themed scents, iris, tuberose and more.

White hair

For those with naturally white hair, choose rich florals blended with a good woody ingredient such as sandalwood. Skin with this type of hair can be quite dry so you want ingredients with staying power. Amber, cedar, vetiver, and even vanilla can be wonderful choices.

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  • Doris Humber
    January 26, 2021 at 2:27 pm

    This was an insightful post. Intriguing information. Thanks for sharing.

  • LInda L
    January 20, 2021 at 7:53 am

    Interesting read and so true for me. It’s no wonder I love sandalwood, amber and cedar in my fragrances. @linlett60

  • Gabrielle
    January 16, 2021 at 1:24 am

    It’s funny because, despite being a brunette, coffee notes smell horrible on me. I also have a real problem with any fragrance with dominant rose notes. EEK!

  • Michelle Conn
    January 15, 2021 at 7:34 pm

    Amazing …. I’ll take spicy!! 😉

  • Vicki Love
    January 15, 2021 at 10:53 am

    I loved this read, when younger my hair color was red, and I’ve always known of the quirks that a redhead has (producing our own Vitamin D, to name one).

  • September Dee
    January 15, 2021 at 10:09 am

    Well who knew? This was a fascinating read.