Amid all of our impulse beauty buys, Sephora excursions and video tutorials, one question always seems to stand out: why do some of the best beauty brands smell so strange? And why do we keep coming back for more?
Story by Reilly Lawrence
The infamously elite Biologique Recherche line of facial products is coveted by celebs all over the world, and for good reason. The line is absolutely exquisite, except for the smell of course (not to mention the price tag). With product ingredients like onion extract, lactic acid and plankton, BR’s famous toner, Lotion p50 1970, reeks. But let us be the one to tell you, the investment and the smell is worth it.
Next up: Sunday Riley’s U.F.O. Clarifying Facial Oil. Boasting 1.5 percent salicylic acid, this product is a multitasker to say the least. Perfect for acne-prone skin, the dry oil moisturizes without creating an oil slick while battling bacteria that causes blackheads and inflammation. Though effective for evening skin tone and getting rid of blemishes, the combination of tea tree, black-cumin seed oil and licorice combine to produce quite the aroma.
Drunk Elephant has seen astronomical success these last few months. From being picked up by Sephora to being shouted out by influencers around the globe, the natural beauty brand has it going on. The only catch? You guessed it. Without unnatural, irritating fragrances, customers notice an unusual smell accompanying their results. Though to be fair, serums like the C-Firma that target sun damage and the anti-aging historically smell a bit strange.
Reminiscent of the scent of childhood crayons, Philosophy’s Hope in a Jar is formulated with lactic acid which, again, doesn’t have the most luxurious smell. But the proof is in the pudding with this product. With an enormous following, Philosophy is adored by beauty enthusiasts for the results it brings as well as the range of research-backed products designed to demystify consumers through skincare education.
Lastly, Vintner's Daughter takes the cake for the priciest, smelliest, most effective face oil on the market. Gwyneth Paltrow followers flocked when she introduced one of her secret-weapon products. Influencers and beauty bloggers who can afford the splurge have gushed about the difference the product has made in their skin routine ever since. Is it worth it, though? We’ll get back to you all when the discretionary $185 beauty charge doesn’t spark the light of fear in our student-budget hearts.